It’s not what you think. At the very least, it’s not the crack that Toronto has become famous for (didn’t you know?). It’s the other crack that Chef David Chang and Christina Tosi’s Milkbar in NYC that has this crack elevated to the highest of honors, it’s Crack Pie. If you have never heard of Crack Pie, it’s a decadent combination of butter, sugars (brown and white), eggs and oats. It’s incredibly rich and moreish. But I warn you, a slice of this pie will cost you dearly (and I’m not even going to talk about the $44 price tag for whole pie sold at Milkbar in NYC). Is it worth it? The calories and the time to make it? I’ll let you be the judge. If you ask me if I’ll make it again, I’m going to say probably not. It’s not that it wasn’t good, that it was, but there are a lot of other desserts that are equally as good without being as caloric (Bon Appetite’s recipe details the nutritional facts as: 1 slice (a pie serves 12 people) 350.8 Calories, 53.8 g Fat (21.0 g Saturated Fat)). Some of my dear readers will swoon over this recipe and some will be appalled because it’s not something that generally fits into this blog. To those who are appalled I apologize, it’s not often I make something so outlandishly bad for you. To those who swoon, tread lightly, it is as dangerous as the illegal kind (crack, that is!)
I cannot take credit for this pie on my radar because it was my dear fellow blogger Lorraine, over at Not Quite Nigella who introduced me to it in June last year. It was part of the Daring Bakers Challenge (I do not participate) but I saw it pop up all over the place in the blogs I follow. I filed this recipe in a spot I file many recipes that are not as healthy, most likely never to be made, but we were at a fund raiser for one of the Photographer’s wives who was doing a hike to Machu Picchu to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness and one of the food stylists made Crack Pie (she made it in a slab and cut it into tiny squares). I knew I had to try it. JT loved it, so when we had my nephew over for dinner in late August, I took the plunge and made it.
Momofuku’s Crack Pie
Makes 1 pie about 25 cm diameter
Ingredients for Oat Cookie Crust:
- 9 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, divided (6 & 3 tbsp)
- 5 1/2 tbsp packed light brown sugar, divided (4 & 1½ tbsp)
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Directions for oatmeal cookie crust:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line a 13″ x 9″ sheet with parchment and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Using a mixer, beat 6 tbsp butter with 4 tbsp brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the egg and beat again until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Fold in the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir until well blended.
- Turn out the oat mixture into prepared baking pan and press out evenly to edges of pan or close enough.
- Bake until lightly golden about 18 minutes.
- Lift parchment with cookie onto a wire rack and cool completely, about an hour.
- Once cool, crumble the cookie into a large bowl and add the remaining 3 tbsp (45 gm) butter and 1-1/2 tbsp brown sugar and mix well until the mixture is moist and will stick together when pressed between your fingers (think graham cracker crust).
- Pour the cookie crust mixture to a 25 cm spring-form pan and press into the bottom and sides using your fingers and/or anything that will press it firmly. Set aside.
Ingredients for filling:
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp dry milk powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 6 1/2 tbsp table cream (recipe called for whipping cream but I had table cream on hand so I used it instead)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
(Powdered sugar for dusting) – I forgot
Directions for filling:
- Preheat to 350° F (180° C). Spray a 25 cm spring-form pan with baking spray.
- Whisk sugars, milk powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and add melted butter and whisk until blended.
- Add the cream, egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes (filling might bubble up) then reduce oven temperature to 325° F (160°C) and continue to bake until filling is golden on top and set around edges (20 minutes longer).
- Cool pie completely on a wire rack. Chill uncovered overnight. Carefully glide a knife around the edges to loosen and remove the sides of the spring-form pan and slide the sides off. Position on a serving plate.
- Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into thin wedges. Serve cold with a drizzle of caramel and a dollop of whipped cream.