Friday, September 9, 2011

Crack. Pie.

I'm excited.  Wanna know why?  Well I'll tell you anyway.

  • I've got a whole weekend with Will.  I haven't seen him since my trip to Alabama in July.  That's about 2 months!  So yeah.
  • We're eating at Saluda's in Columbia.  The food is supposed to be ah-mazing.
  • In a month or less, I will be an aunt to a wee baby boy.  Reason to celebrate, no?
  • There are two big games this weekend.  Carolina vs. Georgia and Alabama vs. Penn State.  I know who I'm cheering for!

Well we've come to the last of my football menu.  Dessert.  I stumbled across this pie on Bon Appetit's website somehow.  It's from Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC, and it's called Crack Pie.  And let me tell you, the name is 100% accurate.  It could alternately be named Di-uh-beetus Pie.  Side note: Have you seen the Wilford Brimley commercials where he talks about diabetes?  He pronounces it di-uh-beetus.  Seriously, it's a lot of butter and sugar on an oatmeal cookie crust.  And it's delicious.  Um, I should probably go ahead and apologize for the atrocious lighting.  I made the pie late Friday night, and the light around the kitchen leaves a little something to be desired.

Did I mention there's powdered sugar?

This is a pie you have to plan for.  It has to chill overnight, so it's not a craving you can immediately satisfy.  Whomp whomp.  But maybe the anticipation is part of what makes it so good?

It starts with that super simple oatmeal cookie crust.  You need: all-purpose flour, old-fashioned oats, sugar, brown sugar, butter, an egg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

You should start by spraying a piece of parchment paper with non-stick spray on a baking sheet.

The cookie begins with room-temp butter, brown sugar, and sugar.

Beat it until it's fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of course!

Add yo egg and beat until it's pale and fluffy.

Now the dry ingredients.  Flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Beat it until it's good and blended.  It's a very sticky batter.  And already good enough to lick off your fingers.  Not that I did that.

Spread it out on the parchment paper.  It should be even, but you can even go a little thinner than I did.  Bake it in a 350º oven until it gets lightly golden.  About 17-18 minutes.

I could just eat this.  But it serves a greater purpose.  Let it cool completely on a wire rack.  If you're pressed for time (or making it at 11 o'clock at night), stick it in the freezer for a minute.

Break up the cookie into a large bowl.  It doesn't have to be fine like a graham cracker crust.  I was worried it might be too fluffy, but it all worked out just fine.

Mix in more brown sugar and butter.  Then you can press it into a 9" pie pan.  I was really excited that it worked as well as it did.  Go ahead and put the pie dish on rimmed baking sheet.

Filling time!  I actually started this while the cookie was baking in the oven to save on time.  We've got sugar, brown sugar, butter, egg yolks, vanilla extract, non-fat dry milk powder, heavy cream, and salt.

Go ahead and separate your eggs.  One of my yolks broke.  Meh.  You don't need the whites for this recipe, but I highly recommend making an egg white omelette for a light breakfast the day you eat this pie.  Trust me, you'll feel better about it all.

Start with the sugars, salt, and milk powder.

Whisk them together.  The milk powder won't incorporate smoothly.  No worries.  It doesn't adversely affect the batter.

Now for some melted butter.  Make sure it's cooled slightly before you add it.  I melted mine and let it cool while I mixed up the crust.

Whisk it all together.  Now we're starting to look like pie filling!

Add the cream, egg yolks, and vanilla.  Whisk that puppy til it's well blended.  Go ahead and stick your finger in there.  Unless you have a fear of raw eggs.  Which I clearly don't.

Pour the filling into a pie shell and bake in a 350º oven for about 30 minutes.  Reduce the temp to 325º and bake another 20 minutes or so.  You should get little brown patches on the filling.  If the crust looks like it's getting too dark just stick a piece of foil over the pie.

Ta-da!  Now it gets to cool at room temp for 2 hours.  After that, put it in the fridge overnight, uncovered.

When you're ready to serve it, dust it with powdered sugar.  Because it needs more sugar.  I might have gone a touch overboard.

Basically it tastes like a pecan pie without the pecans.  In fact, you could probably make a bangin' pecan pie using this filling and toasted pecans.  I found the crust a little difficult to cut through, but you probably need some deterrent to keep you from shoving a whole pie in your face.  People will love this pie, and you can make it up to 2 days ahead.  Win-win!

Crack Pie (10-12 servings)
Recipe by Christina Tosi as recorded in Bon Appetit

Nonstick vegetable spray
9 tbs (1 stick + 1 tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
5 1/2 tbs light brown sugar, divided
2 tbs sugar
1 large egg
3/4 c + 2 tbs old-fashioned oats
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp (generous) salt

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 tbs non-fat dry milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c melted butter, cooled slightly
6 1/2 tbs heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.  
  • Combine 6 tbs butter, 4 tbs brown sugar, and 2 tbs sugar in a medium bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides.  Add egg and beat until pale and fluffy.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat until well-blended.  Turn out onto the parchment paper and spread.  Bake until lightly golden on top, 17-18 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  • When cool, crumble cookie into a medium bowl.  Add remaining 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar and 3 tbs butter.  Rub in with fingertips until it sticks together.  Press evenly into a pie dish and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • For filling, whisk together sugar, brown sugar, salt, and milk powder.  Add melted butter and whisk until blended.  Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla extract.  Whisk together until blended and smooth.
  • Pour filling into pie crust.  Bake for 30 minutes (filling may bubble, no worries).  Reduce oven temp to 325º and bake until the edges are set but middle still jiggles, about 20 minutes.  Pie should have brown spots on top.  If crust begins to get too dark, lightly cover with foil.
  • Cool pie 2 hours on wire rack.  Chill overnight in the refrigerator, uncovered.  When ready to serve, lightly dust with powdered sugar.  Serve cold.

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