Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Momofuku's Crack Pie

Cereal Milk Ice Cream.  Compost Cookies.  Crack Pie.  These are all trademarked items from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.  The entire Momofuku brand has an incredible reputation in New York and to foodies all around.  From savory to sweet, the various Momofuku restaurants showcase innovative cuisine.  The Crack Pie is infamous.  I mean, they call it Crack Pie for a reason... it's addicting (and also really, really bad for you).  To purchase a pie of your own from Momofuku Milk Bar would cost you $44.  Yes, it's seriously a $44 pie!  So if my math is correct, then 2 pies would cost $88.  So then the recipe I'm about to share with you is an $88 recipe, because it makes 2 delectable Crack Pies.

I made these for Christmas this year, and served one on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day.  I think my secret goal this Christmas was to slowly kill my entire family by giving them diabetes and high cholesterol in the form of Crack Pie... just saying, this pie is very sweet and contains a lot of fattening ingredients (it reminds me a bit of pecan pie without the pecans).  But it's just so good, and it has an oatmeal crust so you feel like your being 1% healthy and only 99% bad!  After the first few bites, I thought it was a bit too sweet for my taste, but then I polished off half a pie within a few days (which probably shows more restraint than others).  I've never tried crack, but I can imagine that's how you get addicted.  You try it once, and you feel a little guilty, and then you keep going back for more.  Against all better judgement.  Like with this pie.  Enjoy it in moderation, because eating too much probably would give you early onset diabetes :)

Part of the fun of making these pies was that I got to use the beautiful, lovingly hand-painted pie dish that my best friend gave me.  She painted a gorgeous rose inside the dish, and around the inside edges she wrote some lyrics from one of our favorite songs, "For Me Formidable" by Charles Aznavour :)  It's such a special and unique pie dish, and I was thrilled to use it for one of the 2 pies I made.  That's the great thing about the holidays, surrounding yourself with your friends and family, and of course when any of those friends or family are absent, you can surround yourself with things that remind you of them, like this one-of-a-kind pie dish.  Thanks, twin!  It was the perfect vessel for some gooey, delicious Crack Pie!

Crack Pie
Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)
(Adapted from the Los Angeles Times)

Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling.

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling and chilling times

Cookie for Crust:
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 egg
Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

Spread the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
2 prepared crusts
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.

Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


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