Monday, September 20, 2010


Crack pie. Two simple words that cause many brows to furrow when I mention what I had baked and consumed. I can see how people who aren't New Yorkers, don't read food blogs or aren't David Chang fans would be confused by it. Crack pie? As in pie made of...crack? Its name comes from its supposed highly addictive nature. I've had this recipe printed out for awhile and hadn't had the chance to make it or even try it at its place of inception, the Momofuku Milk Bar. When I searched for something to bake for my friend Allison's birthday, I thought this would be perfect - especially after hearing her rave about the pie.

It's a simple pie with only a few ingredients in the filling.
  • butter
  • sugar
  • heavy cream
  • egg yolks

The crust is made of ground oatmeal cookies mixed with even more butter and sugar.

This is a perfect example of how even when things don't work out in the process, the end result can still turn out quite well. Where do I even begin? My food processor was broken so I had to use a blender to pulverize the sheet of oatmeal cookie that is used for the crust. However, the blender had no interest in helping me out so I ended up with a very chunky crust. The rack in my oven was, unbeknownst to me, on an angle so the filling overflowed. This left me with a very uneven pie: 1/4 of it was just the crust! Thankfully, I put the tart pan onto a baking sheet prior to putting it in the oven so it caught the filling. In the end, I covered the naked part of the pie with the spilled but cooked filling. At the end of the pie's baking time, it wasn't even close to being at the "jiggly stage" that it was supposed to have been at. I planned to turn off the oven and leave the pie in there. The residual heat would bake the pie a bit more without overdoing it. Well, I forgot to turn off the oven and only realized it when I went back to check on the pie ten minutes later.

The verdict? Surprisingly, crack ain't wack! Despite all my mistakes, the pie was still good. Not great but good enough.

Maybe my "modified" version created my bias but I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Perhaps I gave into the hype and expected the world. I liked it but thought it was too sweet. The sweetness was overpowering to the point that there weren't any other discernible flavors in the filling. I'm all for simple but there needs to be some complexity to a dish that is so dense. It desperately needed another flavor to balance out the intensity of the sugar. However, I did like the oatmeal crust and I would use the it again for something else, like oatmeal ice cream.

This is such an intense pie that you won't want more than one slice. The birthday girl ate a slice along with her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Clearly, the pie earned its name for some. I'm glad I made the pie but it is definitely a one-timer for me...or until someone else requests it for their birthday.

Happy birthday, Allison!

Crack Pie Mini Recipe

adapted from
momofuku LA, from The Los Angeles Times


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup oats
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bake on a quarter sheet pan at 350F for 25 min. Cool to touch. Crumble and blend together with items below in food processor.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Divide evenly amongst 8-10 5" pie platters. Prepare filling.


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks (from large eggs)

Measure all dry ingredients in bowl. Whisk to incorporate all and break up any light brown sugar lumps. Whisk in melted butter. Whisk in heavy cream/vanilla mixture. Whisk in yolks, being careful not to incorporate too much air. Divide evenly over 8-10 5"pies. Bake at 325°F for 15 min, turn down the heat to 315°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until filling has just set, it should still jiggle a bit. Sift powdered sugar on top.

Cool on rack and refrigerate. Serve COLD!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness...this looks delicious! I will have to try it out. Thanks for stopping by, your blog is adorable!