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crack pie

March 7, 2010

Living and working in Switzerland means that no one has heard of Momofuku.  It was worth making this recipe if only just to be able to bring in pieces of pie to the office and say “Who wants crack pie?”.   That opportunity doesn’t present itself everyday.

With that said, I feel that this recipe falls under the “I-really-would’ve-enjoyed-this-more-with-less-hype” category.  In my everyday world, that category is generally reserved for movies and occasionally restaurants, but sadly, this recipe is getting filed there as well.

When you have everyone from Anderson Cooper to Martha Stewart going bonkers, and then hear that it goes for $44/pie, it became something that I didn’t want to make but had to make.  It’s generally the thought process that also results in me needing some sort of gadget that will change my life.  So, when I saw the L.A. Times recipe, there was no question that Sunday was going to be crack day.

KC advisory: This pie is good.  This pie would be better if you didn’t know it would cost you $44 in New York or that people go on and on about it on national TV.  In other words, this pie will not change your life, but it will make your husband/colleagues/friends/family love you more for sacrificing your Sunday afternoon to make a pie.  So, go into this expecting a lot of work, but with the knowledge that the end result will be sweet, buttery goodness that won’t cure cancer, but will cure a sweet tooth.

Crack pie
from L.A. Times recipe and followed with unusual precision for me.

For the oat cookie you need for the crust
(KC note: I weighed everything as measurements that read 2/3 plus 1 tbsp freak me out for no good reason)

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

Directions

For the cookie

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet.  I found the easiest way of doing this is to cover my hands in a little veggie oil and press down with my palms.

So close, yet so far

7.  Bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack.

17 minutes probably would've been enough

8.  Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

Time for the crust!

Ingredients

  • Crumbled cookie for crust
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together).  This was easier said than done in my small processor, but I divided it into two batches and it worked out okay.

2. Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.  This is where I ran into serious issues.  The end result was just enough to cover 1 pie tin and 4 cupcake tins.  One the left was what I had with over 1/2 the crust dough.  The right was the result of my mending.

And at last…the filling…

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 prepared crusts
  • Powdered sugar, garnish

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.  I have no idea what this means, but I decided this just means slowly whisk together.

4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.  Or pour it into one pie shell and 4 cupcake tins as I did.

5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.  Enjoy!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria permalink
    March 8, 2010 1:52 pm

    I suppose Sunday was Crack Pie day for a bunch of us. I made it yesterday as well and I have to say…I completely agree with you. Too much hype for something that’s no more amazing and indulgent than any other dessert. Personally, I thought it was just okay.

    • March 8, 2010 2:28 pm

      Perhaps it was an unofficial crack holiday or something.

      In thinking about it more, the $44 price tag must have more to do with labor than product. There was a lot of love that went into that pie (as well as a few choice four-letter words). I’m preparing my post for the Momofuku compost cookies that I did last week. Now THOSE were something to go on and on about!

  2. March 19, 2010 8:22 pm

    Hum … look’s delicious, i’m wondering if i eat that ! LOL :-)

  3. Jessica permalink
    September 7, 2010 12:07 pm

    Hi, looks delicious! I live in Switzerland too (Geneva) and was planning on making this for a party. Ive never bought milk powder here though, was it easy to find and buy in non-mega quantities? I have no small children to get rid of the rest :) lovin your blog so far!
    Jessica

    • September 7, 2010 6:44 pm

      Hey! Milk powder is pretty easy to come by here, but I will warn you that the bag is going to leave you with a ton of milk powder left over. I keep telling myself I’ll find it a purpose in life, but it seems unlikely.

      If you want another recipe that doesn’t require milk powder and, in my (humble) opinion is the superior Momofuku recipe, go with the compost cookies. You could even serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some salted caramel sauce (also a recipe here) to jazz it up.

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