Last week Eat Out published this article written by my good friend Sam Woulidge. I read through the “30 Things to eat before you die”, salivating as I read. I have not eaten most of the things listed in the article but I have at least heard of all of them. Afterwards, the article created some buzz on Twitter and the conversation revolved mainly around the Crack Pie that Sam had listed. Over the last year, Crack Pie had popped into my life quite prominently. It has been on almost every food show I watch, I’ve met people who have eaten it and I have always wanted to make it myself.
Now I know that many of you are going “What the hell is Crack Pie?” and I am here to inform you. Crack Pie is an invention by New York’s Momofuko Milk Bar. It is apparently as addictive as crack-cocaine and has thus been named Crack Pie. Oat cookies are crushed, mixed with butter and sugar and pressed into a tart case before being filled with a mixture containing butter, eggs, cream and sugar. This is then baked off until the filling is just set. Those who have eaten the actual Crack Pie says the filling is a combination of Pecan pie without the pecans and set condensed milk. This is a pretty good description of it actually, even though I don’t have experience of the real deal myself.
I used the LA Times’ recipe and was quite shocked at the amount of ingredients needed. Nevertheless, I soldiered on and baked the oat cookies. They were absolutely insanely delicious. I then blended them in my food processor and mixed them with more butter and sugar. This was then baked in a tart tin until golden brown. The filling is relatively easy to make except that I misread the recipe and thought you needed sour cream. Only afterwards did I realise it was heavy cream that was needed but I decided to bake it anyway. I figured the texture would be richer and thought the acidity might cut through all the richness from the eggs and butter.
The end result was seriously delicious but I have to be honest, I was slightly underwhelmed. I don’t know if I did something wrong because I don’t really have first-hand experience. Though saying that, I can’t really fault the pie at all. As one of my twitter friends said “Perhaps Crack isn’t for you.” I can say that I do think the recipe contains slightly too much butter as the butter actually oozed out of the tart and I had to blot some of it with kitchen paper but other than that, this pie is tasty and would be perfect served a cup of espresso. Bake it and let me know what you think! I converted the measurements to metric but if you want the cup measurements, simply follow the original recipe. Also, it says that this makes 2 pies but I have a +- 30cm tart case and it made one pie of that size.
for the oat cookies
- 100 g flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 125 g softened butter
- 70 g brown sugar
- 45 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 100 g rolled oats
for the crust
- baked and cooled oat cookies
- 75 g softened butter
- 30 g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
for the filling
- 200 g caster sugar
- 100 g brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 30 g milk powder
- 225 g melted butter
- 200 ml cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- icing/powdered sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- To make the oat cookies, pre-heat the oven to 180°c and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Sift the flour baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and mix well.
- Add the flour and mix through before stirring in the oats.
- Spread into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When the cookies are completely cooled, blend them into fine crumbs in a food processor. Add the butter and sugar and blend until the mixture resembled damp sand.
- Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a tart case and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- To make the filling, whisk the sugars, salt and milk powder together.
- Whisk in the melted butter then the cream and vanilla.
- Carefully whisk in the egg yolks, taking care not to incorporate any air into the mixture.
- Pour the filling into the prepare shell and bake for 10 minutes until the edges of the filling has set but the centre is still slightly jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge.
- When you are ready to serve, dust over some icing sugar and slice.
Great post! For what it’s worth, the Momofuku cookbook makes a very big deal out of the heavy cream. They insist that that ingredient can’t be substituted; they also make a big deal out of two other things that help ensure the pie is exceptionally dense, but I feel bad giving up all the techniques from the cookbook so I won’t mention it here. Suffice it to say that having played with this recipe myself, I can see how you’d get a pretty underwhelming pie if you didn’t obey all three of the cookbook’s commands.
Jen, thanks SO much for your comment. I am definitely going to get my hands on that book so that I can re-make the pie and do it properly.
Aww, thanks for noticing my comment on your ancient post! I’m glad that Google brought me to your corner of the ‘net. You’re now on my RSS reader and I put your cookbook on my Amazon Wish List.
Some extra incentive to check out the Momofuku cookbook: although Momofuku is in the US, they use metric measurements in the restaurant and list the metric measurements in their cookbook. So in addition to the three methodological tips, the cookbook also lists different metric ingredients proportions from the your version/the LA Times version–and one ingredient that didn’t make it into the LA Times version at all. It’s a binding agent, so I suspect it matters to the final texture!
BTW, your experiment was not in vain for me. I’m trying to crack another popular restaurant chess pie served in Raleigh, NC–so anybody who cooks a variation on the Momofuku Crack Pie gives me very useful reconnaissance. Thanks again!
Jen, good luck on your quest! 😉 Did you see my book on Amazon?
Yes! I know this pie! Just came back from a great NYC trip and Momofuku was definitely one of the highlights. The name only sounds delicious and it definitely taste that way too! Your pictures make it even better:)
Now I’m even more disappointed I wasn’t able to check out Momofuko Milk Bar when I was in NYC last week!:(