Crack Pie

3.16.11 § 21 Comments

I know. The name is kinda scary. When people ask me, “Why is it called crack pie?” I get a bit frustrated, because with a name like that, I would think it’s pretty obvious. I have never tried crack, but if it’s even half as addictive as this pie, I can understand why people get hooked. (I also get a little frustrated when people ask what’s in it, because with a name like that, do you really think you want to know? No.)

I’ve only eaten the real crack pie, which comes from Momofuku Milk Bar here in NYC, once. I had gone on a dinner date to Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and when we sat down, dude said, “You know, I usually order everything I want to taste from the menu.” And in that moment, I had two thoughts. One: “Wow, I usually order only what I want to taste the very most because I’m broke and this shiz is expensive.” And two: “Dude knows the way to my heart and he is NOT playing around.” Needless to say, we had an amazing dinner, and just when I thought I was going to pass out from overeating, I was told we had to go next door to the attached Milk Bar to have crack pie. Pie was the last thing I wanted, but I rarely turn down food, so we had the crack pie. And it. Was. Awesome. We couldn’t finish it, so I tucked the last few bites in my purse and ate it the next morning for breakfast.
I haven’t been back to Momofuku Ssam or Milk Bar since that night, because I’m a little worried about my self restraint slash lack thereof (the pork buns are also to die for and I could easily eat about 20 of them, which would not be good). So, when I went to visit Boston this past weekend for my friend Merri’s birthday, I was beyond thrilled when she informed me we’d be making crack pie. Making it! At home! I actually didn’t believe that it could ever be as good as the real thing, but I was not disappointed. It was so good that after serving it at the birthday party on Saturday night, I found myself sitting on the couch Sunday morning, still wearing my party dress, and eating crack pie leftovers straight from the pan. With a plastic fork. What can I say? Breakfast of champions. Is anyone else noticing a trend?

So, without further ado, here’s the recipe. I recommend you make this when there are going to be some other people around, because if you do it when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you will eat the whole thing yourself. Not a good plan.

Crack Pie
Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar NYC/Bon Appetit
*Note: If you’re going to make this, note that the crust must bake, then cool, and the filling then has to bake for nearly an hour, then cool for like two hours, then chill for a few more hours/overnight. It’s quite the process, but it isn’t hard, just time consuming!

Oat cookie crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

For crust:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper and coat it with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes), scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add the egg and beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended (about 1 minute). Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan and press it out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.

Using your hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl. Melt the remaining butter in a bowl or small saucepan, and add the butter and  1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar to the cookie mixture. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter pie dish. (A cake pan will work if you don’t have a pie dish.) Using your fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.

For filling:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie for 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20-25 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.


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