Sunday, March 6, 2016

Momofuku Crack Pie™

This signature dessert from Momofuku Milk Bar is genius. The Crack Pie™ crust is made from an oat cookie, and the filling resembles richer and denser version of creme brulee. It's no wonder this is a best seller at the bakery!
It's been years since I've visited New York City. It's one of my favorite cities in the world since there is so much to do and so much to eat. I think it would be fun to do my own little food tour and eat my way through the city.

One of the places that I'd love to visit is Milk Bar. I've been too lazy to make my own "cereal milk" and turn that into other glorious sweet concoctions. I think I mentioned before that my brother gifted me the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, and I've been intimidated by most of the recipes in there. I did manage to make the confetti cookies last year, and I have they say that they were fan-freaking-tastic.

I've been eyeing the Crack Pie™ recipe for quite some time now but haven't made the time or effort to attempt it. The perfect day arrived recently, when I had a holiday off from work and Addie had the day off from school. It also happened to be a snow day, so we weren't going to go outside. And what better way to spend the day than to make a new recipe?

I read the directions multiple times and was surprised about how easy this really was. In short, you bake a cookie, turn it into a cookie crust (for the pie), then make the filling and bake the whole thing. Not too bad, right?
Admittedly, I make this pie another time before and severely underbaked it. When the instructions say that only the dead middle of the pie should jiggle, it's not kidding. If a good majority of the pie is still wiggly, bake it longer. I think I ended up baking mine for an additional 20 minutes before it was set. So be patient.

This pie was nothing short of amazing. The cookie crust had a nice oat-y texture that offset the smooth, caramel-like filling of the pie. It was sweet, almost to the point of being a little too sweet, but it had this addicting flavor that made you want to eat more and more. I guess that's why it's called Crack Pie™.

Don't be afraid to try baking this. It's a lot easier than you think and definitely worth the little bit of effort.

Momofuku Crack Pie™
Cookie
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/6 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1.5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • pinch baking powder
  • pinch baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Crust
  • Cookie from above
  • 1/2 Tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 3/8 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
Directions
Make the cookie: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and beat until the mixture becomes a pale yellow. Add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt until the mixture just comes together. Transfer the dough to your prepared baking pan. Smash the dough down with your hands or spatula until it is about 1/4 inch thick. You don't need to worry about making this into a pretty shape. Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the cookie is puffy and golden brown on the edges. Allow the cookie to cool completely.

Make the crust: Once the cookie has cooled completely, pulse it in a food processor. Add the brown sugar and salt until it resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a medium sized bowl and add the melted butter. You should be able to form a ball with the crumbs. If not, add more melted butter until everything comes together. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan and set aside.

Make the filling: Chef Tosi says that this step must be done with a stand mixer and not a handheld mixer. I haven't tried with a handheld mixer, so I can't vouch for the results. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugars, milk powder, and salt together on low speed until well blended. Add the melted butter and mix until the butter is well incorporated. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and continue to mix until the cream has completely blended in. Add the egg yolks until everything just comes together. You do not want to over mix.

Bake the pie: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the filling onto the prepared crust. Bake for 15 minutes. The pies will be golden on top but the middle will be underdone. Turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F by opening the oven (keep the pie in the oven). Once the oven settles to 325 degrees F, close the oven door and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The very center of the pie will still appear jiggly, but the rest of the pie should be set. If the pie is too jiggly, bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the pie (minus the dead center) has set.

Allow the pie to cool to room temperature. Then freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight. Pie is best served cold and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and will keep for at least 5 days. If the pie is frozen, allow to thaw for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Yield: One 9" inch pie; about 8-10 servings

Source: Barely adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi; pages 246-249

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