Crack Pie - holiday break experiment. Nom.

Crack Pie – holiday break experiment

Finally, I have a few days off.  Holiday at Victoria’s Secret Direct starts at the end of August and runs through pretty much the end of December.  I haven’t had a really day off since August, the weekends and Thanksgiving Day do not count lol. I am exhausted, to say the least.

I decided that on my week off, in between resting, that I would attempt to make Christina Tosi’s famous Milk Bar Crack Pie®. I pulled a little from her recipe on the Milk Bar website (Milk Bar Recipe) and  Bon Appetit’s version (Bon Appetit Recipe) to create what I could do at home. The Milk Bar recipe calls for corn powder, which I couldn’t get my hands on and did not try to recreate.

It is pretty complicated and very precise, but worth the work. The texture of mine did not come out quite right, pretty sure I over cooked it, based on the color being a bit over-caramelized/dark and the extra stickiness, but the flavor was on point!  It seemed to jiggle too much to me at the time it was supposed to be done, so I cooked it longer… but it may have been done already and I wasn’t sure. (Update!!!! see below the first version of the recipe my 2nd version!!!!)

Here is what I did.  This pie is dangerous, it is seriously addicting, as the name suggests lol. I did my best to make this all make sense. I made a list of all the ingredients in one spot at the end, for you to make a grocery list with, of course 🙂

Preparation – 40 minutes

Total – 15 hours

Makes two 9 inch pies – servers about 8-10 each (You can freeze the 2nd one for up to a month, or they are good in the fridge for 5 days)

For the filling – make sure you separate the yolks very well, do not allow a bit of egg white to be left behind.  I started by going shell to shell and then did it in my hands to get the remaining white off, but just make sure you don’t nab the yolk with the shell, otherwise it will pop.

  1. Heat the oven to 350°f.
  2. Make the cookie:

8 tbs butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar

3 tbs granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/16 tsp (pinch) baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt because that is all I ever have)

  • Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until fluffy and pale yellow in color. 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 1 to 2 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.
  • Line a ¼ sheet pan with parchment and coat with pam, or just line the pan with a silpat. Plop the cookie dough in the center 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; this is ok. I used my hands to spread it, it worked better than the spatula.
  • 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 1 week.
  1. Make the crust out of the cookie you just made:

1 tbs (tightly packed) light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 tbs butter, melted, (plus 1.5 tbs more if needed)

  • Put the oat cookie, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor (I used a blender a small amount at a time) and pulse it on and off until the cookie is broken down into a wet sand. (if you don’t have a food processor, you can crumble the oat cookie diligently with your hands.)
  • Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, add the butter, and knead the butter and ground cookie mixture until moist enough to form into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 1 to 1½ tablespoons butter and knead it in.
  • Divide the oat crust evenly between 2 (9-inch) glass pie dishes. U
    • 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 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Put both pie shells on a sheet pan.
Crack Pie - holiday break experiment - the cookie shell
Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – the cookie shell
  1. Make the filling and bake

1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2 tbs nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

1/2 cup and 5 tbs heavy whipping cream

8 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Powdered sugar (for dusting when it’s complete the next day)

  • Combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk 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 2 to 3 minutes until all the dry ingredients are moist.
  • Add the heavy cream and vanilla and continue mixing on low for 2 to 3 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 1 week.
  • Divide the Crack Pie® filling evenly between the crusts; the filling should fill them three-quarters of the way full.
  • Bake 30 minutes
  • Reduce over temperature to 325°F. Set timer for 20 minutes, first leaving the door open until the temperature drops to 325°F, then closing the door for the remaining time.
  • Bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken. The pies should still be jiggly in the bull’s-eye center but not around the outer edges. if the filling is still too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven for an additional 5 minutes -10 minutes or so. I ended up leaving them in for almost 20 minutes extra.
  • Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack.
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Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – the filling pre-baking

 

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Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – baking while the temperature is dropping

 

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Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – cooling on the rack
  1. Finish – 2 options

(I did one fridge and one freezer. I have only tried the fridge one so far and it tastes good to me! I will update when I use the frozen one. (Update!!!! I could not tell the difference.)

  • Milk Bar ends the recipe like this – freeze your pies for at least 3 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 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month. transfer the pie(s) from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost a minimum of 1 hour before you’re ready to get in there.
    • Serve your crack pie® cold! Decorate with confectioners’ sugar, either dusting it through a sieve or spreading a few pinches with your fingers.
  • Bon Appetit ends the recipe with – Chill uncovered overnight. You can do this all 2 days ahead. Keep chilled and sift powdered sugar lightly over the pie when ready to serve. Cut into wedges and serve cold.

 

Crack Pie - holiday break experiment - Next day and dusted
Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – Next day and dusted

 

Crack Pie - holiday break experiment - First slice. Not perfect, but certainly delicious!
Crack Pie – holiday break experiment – First slice. Not perfect, but certainly delicious!

 

Crack Pie - holiday break experiment. Nom.
Crack Pie – holiday break experiment. Nom.

 

INGREDIENT LIST
Cookie:

8 tbs butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar

3 tbs granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/16 tsp (pinch) baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt because that is all I ever have)

 

Cookie crust:

1 tbs (tightly packed) light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 tbs butter, melted, (plus 1.5 tbs more if needed)

 

Filling and topping:

1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

1/2 cup and 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

8 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Powdered sugar (for dusting when it’s complete the next day)

 

UPDATE!!!

I made this whole recipe again, just a few days later, but for the filling I used only the recipe on Milk Bar’s website and the texture was amazing.  Both were ridiculously good, but something about this version was even better.

 

This time I cooked the cookie for a couple of minutes less so that it was stickier when I crumbled it.  It was a little too crumbly the first time and I couldn’t quite make it into a ball when I was kneading it. I was also more comfortable taking it out while it was still pretty jiggly and it set up just fine. I baked it for only about 10 minutes more than the time says, not the 20 extra this time.  I froze both and so far the first one was spot on.

 

Do the cookie recipe and the baking time the same as above, but just make the filling with this recipe instead. Add the corn powder with the first step where you add the milk powder above.

 

Filling

1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/4 cup milk powder

1/4 cup corn powder***

1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

8 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

ENJOY!!!!

***I used masa flour. Corn powder is not polenta or corn meal!!!! It is ground up freeze dried corn. Goya makes a masa flour called Masarica and I think it was pretty close, it was definitely the closest thing I could find. Here is an excerpt from the Milk Bar site about corn powder:

“freeze dried corn powder? and is there a sub for it (corn flour, corn meal, polenta, corn nuts, fritos?)
corn flour and corn powder look similar, but have very different flavors and behave differently in our baked goods. it’s important to track down some freeze dried corn (find it here) to grind up. we also sell already ground corn powder on our website milkbarstore.com polenta, corn nuts, fritos, etc, though cool, do not make great substitutes.

Some pics from round 2 ❤

This is the already baked cookie crumbled and then kneaded into the pie crust dough.
This is the already baked cookie crumbled and then kneaded into the pie crust dough.
Pie crust round 2. It was so much easier to mold this time around.
Pie crust round 2. It was so much easier to mold this time around.
New filling in the pie this time!
New filling in the pie this time!
Baked it for less time this round.
Baked it for less time this round.
Finishing touches after being frozen overnight and in the fridge for a few hours the next day.
Finishing touches after being frozen overnight and in the fridge for a few hours the next day.
Taste tested and approved! NOMNOM. So gooey and decadent.
Taste tested and approved! NOMNOM. So gooey and decadent.

 

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