What do you think of when you hear the words “crack pie”? If you haven’t heard of the massive following that is Momofuku Milk Bar and Christina Tosi then you might be wondering what the heck it is. Well, I want this to be an eye opener for you and tell you that you have to make this recipe immediately.
This is the kind of recipe that I will continue making for the rest of my life. It’s like one of those cool party tricks people pull out to wow a crowd. It is dense, rich and buttery. Because of the small amount of corn powder and the oat cookie crust, you get really good textures and flavors throughout.
Tosi discusses the importance of using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment in this recipe for the filling. No whisks or hand mixer will work to adequately combine and homogenize the recipe. Also, keeping the mixer on a low speed throughout the entire thing is extremely important. If you incorporate too much air into the mixture then your pie will not be dense and gooey (the essence of crack pie).
She also goes into detail about egg yolks and egg whites when it comes to the filling. You need 8 egg yolks for the filling and absolutely no egg whites. It will ruin your beautifully dense pie filling if there is any bit of egg white in the mixture. Tosi suggests separating them by hand for the best results. You may also use the two half-shells to separate the eggs, but the shell may end up tearing the yolk open and may completely separating the egg white.
Excuse me while I clean off my keyboard from drooling as a write this.
115g (1 stick) room temperature butter
75g light brown sugar
40g (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
80g (1/2 cup) flour (Tosi actually uses bread flour as her “flour” in all recipes. Regular all-purpose flour will work fine though.)
120g (1 1/2 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
0.5g (1/8 tsp) baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
2g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
Nonstick spray (optional)
•Crack Pie Filling•
300g (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
180g (3/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
20g (1/4 cup) milk powder
6g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
225g (2 sticks) melted butter
160g (3/4 cup) heavy cream
2g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
•Crack Pie Crust and Assembly•
15g (1 tbsp tightly packed) light brown sugar
1g (1/4 tsp) kosher salt
55g (1/2 stick) melted butter, or as needed
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
» For the oat cookie:
› Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
› Combine the butter and both sugars in a bowl and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and pale yellow. On a low speed, add the egg yolk and increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. The sugar granules should be fully dissolved and the mixture a pale white.
› On a low speed, add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until dough comes together and all ingredients have been incorporated. Scrape down the sides.
› Spray and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or silicone mat. Spread out cookie mixture with a spatula. The dough will not cover the entire pan and that is ok.
› Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly puffed and caramelized on top. Cool completely before using. The cookie will keep up to a week in the fridge.
» For the filling:
› Combine the sugars, milk powder, corn powder, and salt in a STAND MIXER with a paddle attachment and mix on LOW until evenly blended.
› Add the melted butter and paddle for 2-3 minutes until all dry ingredients are moist.
› Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix until any white streaks from the cream have completely disappeared into the mixture. Scrape down the sides.
› Add the egg yolks, just to combine. Be careful not to aerate the mixture, but be sure the mixture is glossy and homogenous. Mix on LOW. Filing can be stored for up to 1 week in the fridge.
» For the crust and assembly:
› Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
› Put the oat cookie, brown sugar, and salt in the food processor (or blender) and pulse until the cookie is broken down into a wet sand. You can also crumble the cookie yourself if you do not have either.
› Transfer the crumbs into a bowl, add the butter and knead together until mixture is moist enough to form into a ball. If it is not moist enough, melt additional 14-25g (1-2 tbsp) butter and knead in.
› Divide crust evenly between two (10-inch) pie tins. Press the oat crust firmly into each pie tin using your fingers and palm of hands. Make sure the sides and bottom are evenly covered. Wrapped in plastic the crusts can be stored at room temp for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
› Put both pie shells on a sheet pan. Divide the filling evenly between the crusts, about three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes only. They should be golden brown on top but will be very jiggly.
› Open the oven door and reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees F. Keep the pies in the oven during this process. Once the oven reaches the lower temp, close the door and bake for 5 minutes longer. They should still be jiggly in the center but not around the outer edges. If too jiggly, leave in for an additional 5 minutes.
› Gently take pies out of the oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Then freeze the pies for 3 hours, or overnight, to condense the filling for a dense final product – freezing is the signature technique and result of a perfectly executed crack pie.
› Transfer the pies from the freezer to the fridge to defrost a minimum of 1 hour before you’re ready to eat. Serve COLD. Decorate with confectioners’ sugar, and ENJOY!