Do you want to be the hit at your next family gathering? Then you are going to want to make this Kentucky Bowler Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Pie. I promise it will not disappoint. It is similar to a Kentucky Derby pie but due to trademark infringement, I wanted to make sure not to use their name for it. Plus this recipe includes pumpkin spice bourbon which gives it a new twist on an old favorite.
Edited to Add:
Are you looking to negate the ‘alcohol’ or the taste of Bourbon?
- If you want to eliminate the bourbon itself you can just do pumpkin pie spice alone.
- If you want the taste of bourbon but not alcohol-based you can combine caramel and vanilla to get that same idea along with the 1/8 tsp of pumpkin spice. For the 3 tablespoons of pumpkin-spiced bourbon, you would need double the vanilla and caramel extract which is 6 tablespoons OR 3 tablespoons of vanilla and 3 tablespoons of caramel extract. OR if you can get your hands on bourbon extract you would need 6 tablespoons of that alone.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Amazon & Walmart affiliate links are most often used.
If you have any other questions- please feel free to ask. Or you can purchase extract here.
Click here for a recipe for pumpkin spice bourbon that you can make and can have on hand. If you are not one to want alcohol in your recipe you can just use pumpkin pie spice alone.
History of the Kentucky Derby Pie
Derby Pie was created in 1950 by the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky, as a specialty pastry. The restaurant’s owners and derby pie creators were Walter and Leandra Kern, who always researched the optimal recipe for their creation. Their son George Kern helped come up with the name. They came up with the phrase “Derby pie” because the various family members each had a different name for the product, so to resolve the naming difficulty, they put the multiple titles inside of a cap and pulled out the paper, which said “derby pie.”
The name “derby pie” is a registered trademark of Kern’s Kitchen, which registered the name in 1968. The company uses the name in the form “DERBY-PIE” in official literature and advertisements. The recipe is kept secret, known only to a small group of Kern family members and a single Kern’s Kitchen employee (who actually mixes the recipe today). Kern’s Kitchen diligently guards the trademark and has filed more than 25 lawsuits to protect it over the years. The makers of similar pies have had to use a different name such as “Pegasus pie”, a reference to the Pegasus Parade at the Kentucky Derby Festival, and May Day pie, in reference to the First Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby.
After leaving the Melrose Inn in 1960, the Kern family continued to make derby pie for select customers. In 1969 they trademarked the name “derby pie” to both the state government of Kentucky and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Since then, the trademark has constantly been renewed as a federally registered trademark. Alan Rupp, a grandson to Walter and Leandra Kern, took over the derby pie business in 1973, he religiously defended the trademark. Part of this defense including going after various cookbooks that named a similar pie derby pie.
A federal judge in April 1982 ruled against a local cookbook. They demanded that the cookbook be recalled so the page with the derby pie recipe could be removed. The cooking magazine Bon Appetit won a temporary victory in May 1987 when a judge ruled the name “derby pie” generic. But the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals reversed the decision. They were saying the Bon Appetit magazine “failed to introduce scientific survey evidence to support their assertion. That the public views ‘derby pie’ as generic”. Federal district courts have continued to side with Kern’s Kitchen in this regard. Kern’s attorney, Don Cox, estimated in 2008 that the company had sued to protect its trademark 25 times.
Kentucky Bowler Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Pie
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted sweet cream butter melted
- 3 tbsp pumpkin spice bourbon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 unbaked 9in deep dish pie shell
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F) and place your pie shell onto a cookie sheet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour.
- Whisk in the eggs, butter, and pumpkin spice bourbon until combined and smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and the chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the pie shell and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cooling completely before topping with fresh whipped cream!