“I made crack pie!”
I love the reactions that I get from people when I tell them I made crack pie…weird expressions, sometimes nervous laughter, excitement and then disappointment when I advise that there is no actual ‘crack’ in the pie.
I have also found crack pie to be the ultimate test of how much of a food nerd you are. If I say crack pie and you can respond with David Chang or Momofuku then like me you obviously spend way too much time reading and thinking about food.
Crack pie is sold at David Changi’s Momofuku Milk Bar in Manhattan, New York . Many people have raved about it and I have come across it on many different blogs as one of ‘the’ pies to bake.
Crack pie is made up of a buttery oatmeal crust and filled with a mixture of butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, sugar, milk powder and egg yolks (yes, it’s very rich). I would describe the filling as tasting like a light caramel or butterscotch.
I’m not sure why it’s called crack pie but after eating it the only conclusion that I can come up with is that it’s so good that it feels like a drug and you will become addicted to it.
Here are the consequences of crack pie addiction:
- You will experience changes in blood pressure (due to the amount of sugar consumed)
- It’s potentially dangerous (you could lapse into a sugar coma)
- You will break into a cold sweat (it’s served chilled)
- Increases your alertness/energy (you get a sugar high)
- Lowers social inhibitions (you won’t be able to stop raving about it)
- Erratic behaviour (you eat crack pie for breakfast)
[Please note: crack pie is to be eaten and not inhaled]
I recently made crack pie to take on a weekend away with friends down in Margaret River. As the food duties were divvied up, I took on Saturday night dessert with the intention of wowing my friends. Crack pie did not disappoint and I recommend it as something to bake if you want to impress.
Making Crack Pie
(Recipe from LA Times)
The recipe below states that 2 pies can be made but I ended up with one big pie and two little ones, and a little leftover filling. I think that when I pressed the crust into the pie shell I didn't make it thin enough but I liked having a bit more crust.
Cookie for crust
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain flour
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (~115g) softened butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons caster sugar
Scant 1 cup rolled oats
• Heat the oven to 375 (~190C) degrees.
• In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
• 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 caster sugar until light and fluffy.
• Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
• With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.
• Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes.
• Remove from heat and cool to touch on a rack.
• Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.
Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup (~60g) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
• 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).
• Divide the crust between 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.
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon milk powder
1 cup (~225g) butter, melted
3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
icing sugar, garnish
• Heat the oven to 350F (~180C) degrees.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the caster sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.
• Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
• Divide the filling evenly between the prepared pie shells.
• Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F (~160C) 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.
• Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with icing sugar before serving.