Pie: It’s fantastic and delicious and addictive. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy every time we take a big ol’ bite. The famed Crack Pie at Momofuku is no different—actually, it’s even better. It’s esentially crack for foodies, hence the name, and will delight your taste buds like never before. (Trust us, we’ve experienced its sweet-yet-salty wonders first-hand). Luckily, you don’t have to venture out to a Momofuku resto to treat yourself; you can make it right at home. We know you want to eat this ASAP, so let’s get started.
Momofuku’s Famous Crack Pie
Yield: two 10-inch pies
What you need
- 1 batch Oat Cookie (recipe follows)
- 15 g (1 tbsp tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 1 g (1/4 tsp) salt
- 55 g (4 tbsp) butter, melted, or as needed
- 1 batch Crack Pie Filling (recipe follows)
- Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
What you do
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the oat cookie, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse it on and off until the cookies are broken down into a wet sand. (if you don’t have a food processor, you can fake it till you make it and crumble the oat cookie diligently with your hands.)
- Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, add the butter and knead the mixture until moist enough to form into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1 1/2 tbsp) butter and knead it in.
- Divide the oat crust evenly between two 10-inch pie tins. using your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the oat-cookie crust firmly into each pie tin, making sure the bottom and sides of the tin are evenly covered. Use the pie shells immediately or wrap well in plastic and store at room temperature for up to five days or in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- Put both pie shells on a sheet pan. divide the Crack Pie filling evenly between the crusts; the filling should fill them three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes only. The pies should be golden brown on top but will still be very jiggly.
- Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Depending on your oven, it may take five minutes or longer for the oven to cool to the new temperature. Keep the pies in the oven during this process. When the oven reaches 325°F, close the door and bake the pies for five minutes longer. The pies should still be jiggly in the bull’s-eye centre but not around the outer edges. If the filling is still too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven for an additional
five minutes or so.
- Gently take the pan of Crack Pies out of the oven and transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the cooling process by carefully transferring the pies to the fridge or freezer, if you’re in a hurry.) Then, freeze your pies for at least three hours (or overnight) to condense the filling for a dense final product—freezing is the signature technique and result of a perfectly executed Crack Pie.
- If not serving the pies right away, wrap well in plastic wrap. In the fridge, they will keep fresh for five days; in the freezer, they will keep for one month. Transfer the pie(s) from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost a minimum of one hour before you’re ready to get in there.
- Serve your Crack Pie cold! Decorate your pie(s) with confectioners’ sugar, either passing it through a fine sieve or dispatching pinches with your fingers.
Yield: about a quarter sheet pan
What you need
- 115 g (8 tbsp) butter, at room temperature
- 75 g (1/3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 40 g (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 80 g (1/2 cup) flour
- 120 g (1 1/2 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 0.5 g (1/8 tsp) baking powder
- 0.25 g (pinch) baking soda
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- Pam or other non-stick cooking spray (optional)
What you do
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for two to three minutes, until fluffy and pale yellow in colour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. On low speed, add the egg yolk and increase the speed to medium-high and beat for one to two minutes, until the sugar granules fully dissolve and the mixture is a pale white.
- On low speed, add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix for a minute, until your dough comes together and any remnants of dry ingredients have been incorporated. The dough will be a slightly fluffy, fatty mixture in comparison to your average cookie dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Spray a quarter sheet pan with Pam or the like and line with parchment (or just line the pan with a Silpat.) Plop the cookie dough in the centre of the pan and, with a spatula, spread it out until it is 1/4-inch thick. The dough won’t end up covering the entire pan; that’s okay.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until it resembles an oatmeal cookie-caramelized on top and puffed slightly but set firmly. Cool completely before using. Wrapped well in plastic, the oat cookie will keep fresh in the fridge for up to one week.
Crack Pie Filling
Yield: enough for two 10-inch pies
You must use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make this filling. It only takes a minute, but it makes all the difference in the homogenization and smooth, silky final product. We repeat: A hand whisk and a bowl or a granny hand mixer will not produce the same results. Also, keep the mixer on low speed through the entire mixing process. If you try to mix the filling on higher speed, you will incorporate too much air and your pie will not be dense and gooey-the essence of Crack Pie.
What you need
- 300 g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 180 g (3/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
- 24 g (1/4 cup) corn powder
- 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 225 g (16 tbsp) butter, melted
- 160 g (3/4 cup) heavy cream
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks*
What you do
- Combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, corn powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended.
- Add the melted butter and paddle for two to three minutes until all the dry ingredients are moist.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla and continue mixing on low for two to three minutes until any white streaks from the cream have completely disappeared into the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Add the egg yolks, paddling them into the mixture just to combine; be careful not to aerate the mixture, but be certain the mixture is glossy and homogenous. Mix on low speed until it is.
- Use the filling right away or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
*Note: It will be the death of your wildly dense pie filling if there is any bit of egg white in the mixture. I believe the easiest, and best, way to separate an egg is to do so in your hands. You may also use the two half-shells to separate the eggs, but the cracked shells can tear the yolk open, and you may not totally separate all the white. If you do this by hand, you can feel when you get every last bit of white away from the yolk. Remember to wash your hands under warm soapy water for 30 seconds or more before and after you handle raw eggs! Save your egg whites for peanut butter nougat or pistachio cake, or cook them up for your doggies, for a shinier coat.
Recipe by Momofuku Milk Bar‘s Christina Tosi
WATCH: Speaking of pie… These recipes are FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS.