Crack Pie

I can’t deny that even before I knew what Crack Pie was, it something that was going to happen in my life.  Who names their recipe Crack Pie if it isn’t going to live up to the potential of a highly addictive substance that starts off as a bit of fun, then develops into a regular habit which you sometimes do during the week not just at the weekend, until it takes such a hold over your life that you can barely function without it.  You lose your money trying to get hold of your next fix, beg borrowing then stealing from any given source, prompting your family to hold an intervention and ship you off to rehab.  I mean, if that wasn’t the natural cause of events after eating Crack Pie then someone misnamed this sucker.   It’s just as well then that I’m happy to report that I’ve reserved my place in rehab and am merrily beginning the slow descent into substance abuse.  The substance being pie, not crack.  Let’s just get that straight.

Crack Pie originated from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, an amazing bakery that I made a beeline for on my last trip to the Big Apple and it more than lived up to the hype.  Seriously, go there.  We can worship at the caramel alter of chef/co-owner Christina Tosi for dreaming up this intense injection of sugar.  On first glance it isn’t the prettiest member of the girl band, but it is certainly the cheeky naughty one who will break up the band and ride high on the successful solo career.  Diving beneath its unassuming exterior lies a fudgy caramel custard lounging seductively on a chewy oat cookie base.  A small first taste encourages you to sample a second, just to make sure you understood your first eye-popping reaction.  A second taste leads to shoving the whole slice in your mouth and launching full body into the rest of the pie.  If you are one of those people that can seriously handle your sugar then this will be IT for you.  I challenge you to make it and have only one piece, it just simply can’t be done.  Bad luck for you, good luck for rehab.
crack pieCrack Pie
The Momofuku recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit

Oat Cookie Crust
85g unsalted butter, at room temperature
55g soft brown sugar
30g caster sugar
1 egg
100g whole rolled oats
60g plain flour
⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp sea salt
Plus an extra
40g unsalted butter
20g soft brown sugar

Filling
170g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
¼ tsp salt
115g butter, melted and cooled
100ml double cream
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing sugar to dust over the finished pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12” x 9” baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the 85g butter with the 55g brown sugar and 30g caster sugar until pale light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg until combined.
  4. Add the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and beat everything together for one minute.
  5. Pour the cookie dough into the prepared baking tin and spread it out in an even layer, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t quite reach the sides.
  6. Bake for 10-12 mins until the top has just turned golden.
  7. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few mins before turning out onto a cooling rack and leaving to cool completely.
  8. Grease a 9” round cake tin or glass pie dish.
  9. Bash the cooled cookie into crumbs, then rub together with the extra 40g unsalted butter and 20g brown sugar until the mixture can hold together.
  10. Press the crumbled cookie into the cake tin or pie dish and set aside.
  11. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  12. For the filling, whisk together the sugars, milk powder and salt to blend.
  13. Add the melted butter and whisk until just combined.
  14. Add the cream, egg yolks, vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  15. Pour into the cookie base and bake for 25-30 mins until the filling is brown in spots but the centre still wobbles.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a couple of hours. Remove from the tin then store in the fridge overnight to fully set and prepare itself for the human onslaught.

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