Pretty Dishes

So, about this Crack Pie . . .
March 19, 2010, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Recipes

I’m posting about this pretty late (relative to when it was news and when I actually made the pie), so you may have heard about it. According to an L.A. Times article, there is a dessert that has swept the nation, and New York City specifically: Crack Pie. I know little about Momofuku beyond having flipped through the cookbook, but, being a lover of sweets, I was curious about the attention this treat was getting. Especially with a price tag of $44 for something made with exceedingly common ingredients.

Lucky for me (and everyone else), I neither had to shell out the cash for a trip to NYC nor arrange for home delivery to give this publicized pie a try. In all honesty, I wasn’t that curious, and I wouldn’t have even given it a second thought if the recipe hadn’t been provided as part of the feature story. I greatly appreciate when restaurants/chefs are willing to let the home cook try and recreate a famous (or not) dish rather than keeping the recipe under lock and key. There are certainly times when doing so is necessary to the business’s livelihood, but in general, I don’t expect most places will have to close their doors just because a handful of ambitious home cooks take on the task themselves.

Such is the case here. I highly doubt many will bother to spend nearly three hours prepping and baking (the stated estimate of half that time may be true for professionals, but it took me quite a bit longer), even though the total cost is likely to come in under $10 for what might not already be your home pantry. Is it worth it? On occasion.

While I probably wouldn’t pay $44 for any pie, let alone one I can put together at home, there’s no doubt that Momofuku has the process down pat and can turn out a more amazing version than I can. I’m sure their oats, powdered milk, cream, butter, etc. are top of the line and make a big difference in the final product. And this pie is definitely tasty, though exceedingly sweet. I’m still more in love with other desserts though, so while I might make Crack Pie again someday, it won’t be a part of my regular circulation.

I did have some trouble. The baking time in the original recipe was off for both of my pies. The first pie I could tell wasn’t done even after an additional ten minutes in the oven, but I had planned to take it to a dinner, so I pulled it out and let it cool as much as it could before leaving. Yet by arrival time it was a gooey, unset mess. We still tried pieces for the sake of tasting it, but it was definitely runny. The second pie I cooked quite a bit longer, but it also wasn’t quite right (the center just kept boiling in the oven and did not set well). Lorna Yee of The Cookbook Chronicles modified the recipe to make a single pie and also adjusted the cooking time, and it sounds like her recipe is better, so I will follow it in the future.

The crust, however, is worthy of making over and over again. You bake a large sugar-and-oats sheet cookie, which is then crumbled and combined with more sugar and butter before being pressed into the pan. Oh is it good. I definitely recommend preparing the crust recipe as written to use for just a single pie or cheesecake rather than two (per the original recipe)—it was quite sparse divided in half.

Since the crust is perfect for other recipes, I have included it here, but I direct you to follow Lorna’s instructions for the Crack Pie filling and baking if you choose to prepare it in full.

And if you do try it at home and it wins your heart as a favorite indulgence, why not buy the real thing and compare? In any case, enjoy!

Momofuku’s Crack Pie Crust

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

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

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 and sugars 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 9-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 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 (recipe above)
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). Press the crust into a pie pan to form an even layer along the bottom and sides. Proceed with Crack Pie filling and baking instructions or a favorite cheesecake recipe.


2 Comments so far
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Totally unrelated, but every time I look at the title of this post, for a moment I think it says, “So, About This Crack Pipe …” And then I laugh.

In other news, I have decided I’m going to spend my life buying you random ‘pretty dishes’ for your photographs.

Comment by meosima

Yay! I love pretty dishes!

Comment by prettydishes

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