Baking Momofuku Milk Bar’s Crack Pie® recipe
Crack Pie. Yes…crack pie. If you were equally intrigued upon hearing the name, without dismissing it, then you really should investigate just as I did.
I found the recipe for this pie in Bon Appetit magazine. And then I found it also on the Milk Bar website recipe area (scroll until you see Crack Pie), and on LA Times, and so on.. I recommend following the Milk Bar recipe and halving it. It seems that the BA one is the luddite version and simplified and missing all of the chef commentary and tricks.
The best part? This recipe has been available to the public at least since 2010! Can you believe that? I am so late to this party.
So this brings me to 2015. At this year’s Christmas dinner, my contribution was this dessert. Yes, at Christmas in Western NY state, in quasi-rural-suburban-land, I would create this oddly named thing. It went over really well and I didn’t embarrass myself, by the way.
The other draw to this recipe is that it is easy. No need to make complicated pie crust — especially for someone as impatient as me (maybe you too, no?), just bake a huge oat cookie and crumble it. Make the innards, fill your crust and bake, and then refrigerate or expedite by freezing like the Milk Bar version says.
The result? Omg. I was craving more of this pie after Christmas and said I forgot to take some leftovers. It’s a high-mileage dessert meaning you only need a normal slice and it’s more than enough. The result is a very tantalizing, molasses-y, gooey, rich, though thickened filling.
This is the oat cookie pie crust. On the Bon Appetit recipe which is what I followed, it said to break up the crust by hand, and on the Milk Bar recipe it says to spare yourself and shove it in the food processor. Could you do it either way? Yes. What way will I do it next time? Food processor all the way.
That’s the filling after everything was mixed. I used my handy 9-speed Cuisinart hand mixer to stir it all up. A stand mixer is also possible, but overkill for one pie.
That’s the pie right before commencing the second, lower-temp bake with the open oven door.
And here it is before going into the freezer for a few hours. It’s also the best “money shot” I have of the finished product. The pie collapses a little bit after chilling, but that doesn’t affect its deliciousness. Don’t forget to dust yours with confectioner’s sugar.
I made Crack Pie again recently and this time from the Momofuku website recipe. I seemed to notice the ingredient “corn powder” this time and it made me wonder what the heck it was and how I missed it times before. Turns out it is literally the product of ground up freeze-dried corn. Momofuku online store sells it. They also very specifically say it’s not the same as corn grits, starch, polenta, or flour. What gives? Not even the same as flour? I ended up using corn flour since I wasn’t going to find corn powder and no other substitute on hand. Times before I used corn starch and that seemed to firm up the pie well and actually better than corn flour! This time I thought it was too runny even after over baking a bit.