Monday, January 17, 2011

Crack Pie

So if you've been keeping up, here's dessert #4.  My friend Mary asked whether I made cheesecake, and from this picture, it does look like cheesecake, but it's in fact Crack Pie of Momofuku's Milk Bar fame.  

I've been itching to try this recipe but from what I heard of others who have made this, I was frightened I would eat this pie in one sitting.  So I waited and waited for the perfect opportunity.  It was the most labor intensive of the four desserts I made, but well worth the effort and pain.  It's definitely something you would make for a special occasion because it requires a lot of steps and also some time to chill in the fridge.  

Here's a close up of the famous crack pie.  There's a reason why it's called crack pie.  

Crack Pie
Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar
Beware, this recipe makes 2 pies.

Oat Cookie Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

You have to make the oat cookie crust in advance.  Here are the steps to make the crust.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.

Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy.

Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.

Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan.

Press out evenly to edges of pan.

Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.  Mine ended up looking like a blob, but you're going to be crushing this up anyway so it really doesn't matter what it looks like.

Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl (or use a food processor); add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish.

Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.  I didn't have two pie dishes so I used a spring form pan for the second pie.

Now for the filling.  Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend.

If you're curious what milk powder looks like.  Here it is.

Add melted butter and whisk until blended.

Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.  I never said this pie was healthy.  :)

Pour filling into crust.

Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble).  Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer.

Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.  You can make this pie 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.  When you are ready to serve, sift some powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.

This pie is pretty rich so thin slivers are perfect for each person.  I got the nicest compliments, especially from one of my friends who had been to Momofuku's Milk Bar a few weeks before, he actually said this was better than what he had there.  Aww shucks ... my friends sure know how to flatter me.  


  1. what else can dry milk powder be used for?

  2. you can add water and make milk! I used it once for baking when I ran out of milk, but haven't used it for much else yet.