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Replicating Favorites: Momofuku Crack Pie

August 28, 2011

“Wait — crack pie??  What is that?”

More often than not despite its popularity, I still get the above reaction from people whenever I present or mention crack pie, the unique dessert with the curious name from Momofuku’s Christina Tosi.  Inevitably, after the first bite, their faces cannot betray the fact that they now truly understand why everyone else is obsessed.

It’s gooey, sweet with a hint of salty and especially good when its chilled, like a candy bar.  The caramel center melts into the oatmeal cookie crust, forming one harmonious chewy and crunchy bite.

There are many variations of the recipe on the internet but I like to think that this particular one is pretty close to the original.  How can I confidently say that?  Because ND and I watched the NBC video of Christina Tosi making this pie on Good Morning America over 8 times, copying down the precise measurement of each ingredient.  I remember how excited we were when the beautiful pies came out of the oven, golden brown and bubbling caramel.

As a side note, it’s been 2 years now since I have started baking strictly by grams and have been a convert of the precise measurement of ingredients ever since.  The end product always comes out exactly the same and it’s just so fun playing on my digital scale watching the numbers change.

Now, back to the crack pie.  It is consists of two parts.  The first part is making a simple oatmeal cookie.  The cookie is spread onto a sheet and baked until golden brown and then blended in a processor until fine.  The crust is spread between two pie pans.  Yes, this recipe makes not only one, but TWO delicious pies.  The filling is a quick mix and pour of melted butter, sugar, cream, egg yolks, milk powder and vanilla.  One word of caution, do not use a stand mixer for this part – it will mix too much air into the filling and lose its gooey texture.

A little visual aid through the process:

The pies go through a two part baking process that is relatively quick.  Trust me, it’s a good thing because you will be itching to get your hands on the pie as the room is filled with the buttery caramel scent.  Chill the pies in the fridge and dust with powdered sugar and you are ready to serve.  Just in case you can’t eat two whole pies in one sitting (who can resist!), these freeze well and tastes even better right out of the freezer.  And yes, it is that addicting.  So good yet so bad for you.  Just like its namesake.

Momofuku Crack Pie (Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar)

Yields 2 9-inch Pies

Cookie for crust

  • 112 grams softened butter
  • 75 grams light brown sugar
  • 35 grams sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 85 grams flour
  • 100 grams of oats
  • 0.5 grams baking powder
  • 0.25 grams baking soda
  • 3 grams salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  3. Add eggs and blend until mixed
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated
  5. Spread the mixture into a sheet pan about 1/4 inch thick
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown

Crust

  • Cookie recipe from above
  • 55 grams of softened butter
  • 20 grams of light brown sugar
  • 1 gram of salt
  1. Let the cookie cool and then crumble with hands.
  2. Pulse in the food processor so it looks like sand.
  3. Add in the butter, sugar and salt and mix with your hands until all ingredients are well mixed
  4. Divide evenly into two pans. Press into pans and up sides and pack tightly

Filling

  • 300 grams sugar
  • 200 grams light brown sugar
  • 6 grams salt
  • 20 grams milk powder
  • 230 grams melted butter
  • 180 grams heavy cream
  • 2 grams vanilla
  • 8 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 330F.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle
  3. Mix in the butter, cream, vanilla and egg yolks and combine well.
  4. Pour evenly into the prepare pie crust and bake at 330F for 25 minutes and then lower the heat to 315F and bake for 18-20 minutes.  The top should start to bubble and turn into a caramel dome of goodness.  Center should be still a little jiggly.
  5. Let cool and then refrigerate until well chilled. It should be served chilled with a gooey interior. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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