Crack Pie

Crack Pie - Butter Tart

This is going to be my last post of 2017 and I feel like it’s a good one to sign out on. It’s actually been in the works from as far back as last August, when I went to New York. Whenever I’ve baked this recipe in that time the photos I’ve taken just haven’t been good enough, and for a recipe as good as this one, the photos need to do it justice. So lets rewind to August of 2016; after a day walking around Manhattan in the baking heat we sought out Milk Bar, part of the famed Momofuku group, to stock up on some bakes. Crack Pie had come recommended, and with such a ludicrous name, it sounded like something I needed to try. I didn’t realise that I was about to have one of the single most decadent desserts of my life. Crack Pie is essentially a butter tart, so think a dense layer of gooey, buttery filling sitting on top of a biscuit base.

Crack Pie - Butter Tart

Crack Pie - Butter Tart

Since making it for the first time I’ve been asked by housemates to make it again, and again. One of my friends now makes it regularly, mixing up the biscuits she uses for the base. It’s intense, you probably won’t want more than a small slice at a time, and while you could likely top it with a little whipped cream it doesn’t really need it. While I’ve made it a number of times I usually wait a couple of months between bakes, just to give myself time to recover from the intensity; it’s sweet, sugary, thick and heavy, but oh boy is it good. The filling will probably swell up while you’re baking it and you don’t want it to catch too much on top, so it’s worth keeping an eye on it while you’re baking it.

Crack Pie - Butter Tart

I hope everyone has a wonderful festive period, and I’ll see you in 2018 for more food and exploring.

Crack Pie Recipe

Crack Pie
  • **For the oat cookie**
  • 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80g bread flour
  • 120g porridge oats
  • ⅛ tsp baking-powder
  • pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • **For the crack pie filling**
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 180g light-brown sugar
  • 20g milk powder
  • 225g butter, melted
  • 180ml whipping or double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • **For the pie shells**
  • 15g light-brown sugar
  • 55g butter, melted, or as needed
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Start with the oat cookie. You can do this step a few days in advance too.
  2. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper and pre-heat an oven to 180°C(170°C fan assisted).
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for at least two to three minutes. It'll be pale, fluffy and yellow.
  4. Add the yolk and beat for a further two minutes.
  5. Gently stir in the flour, oats, baking powder and bicarb.
  6. Spread out over the prepared baking tray until it's 5mm thick and place in the pre-heated oven. Bake for 15 minutes unti; it's caramellised and set. The edges will be brown.
  7. Allow to cool, then wrap in cling film until you need it. Store in the fridge and you could do this up to a week in advance.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(170°C fan assisted) and place a baking sheet in the oven.
  9. For the filling, combine the dry ingredients with 1.5 teaspoons of salt in an electric mixer. Add the butter and beat on a low speed for two to three minutes. The mixer shouldn't go above 'low' at any point during this.
  10. Add the cream and vanilla and mix for a further two to three minutes. Scrape the sides then stir in the egg yolks. Mix until glossy.
  11. Make the pie shells. Pulse the oat cookies in a food processor with the brown sugar and a little salt. (or bash in a bag then add the sugar after) until it resembles coarse sand.
  12. Knead the crumbs with melted butter until it comes together in a ball. If you need to add more butter to make this happen, do.
  13. Divide the cookie mixture between two 25cm pie dishes. Making sure the mix is evenly spread across the base with a good side.
  14. Place both shells on the prepared baking tray and pour in the filling until it's ¾s full.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown but still jiggly in the middle. It may swell up.
  16. Open the draw and drop the temperature by 10°C. Close the oven door again and bake for a further five minutes. It'll be a little jiggly in the middle.
  17. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. It'll set. You can freeze a pie at this stage, wrapped in cling film.
  18. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
**If your pies aren’t as dark as those pictured, that’s absolutely fine. Generally it’ll brown on top but it could remain quite yellow. These images are the darkest the pie has been when I’ve made it**

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