Happy Pi Day!
I love love love Pi Day! Well, I love pie, so it goes without saying that a day dedicated to pie is going to be a favorite of mine.
Honestly though, I don’t make a lot of pies, except for at the holidays. So Pi day gave me an excuse to make this pie. I have heard all about it. It has kind of a cult following. Supposedly it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted. The texture and flavor is inexplicable.
It is an incredibly rich, sweet, dense, gooey pie with a hint of salt in the oat cookie crust. It really is hard to describe. I can say that I’m pretty sure my cholesterol went up a few points. For realz!
Crack Pie is the brainchild of Christina Tosi of Momofuko Milk Bar in NYC. She is the queen of outrageous desserts. She’s like a mad scientist. Her creations are so unique and inventive. I have total girly food crush on her. And don’t even get me started with my crush on David Chang.
This pie has a quite a few steps, as you make your own cookies for the crust. It’s kinda worth it though. The crust is super yummy.
I followed the recipe at Bon Appetit. It was different than the one posted on the Milk Bar website, which had corn powder as an ingredient. I have no idea what that is, to tell you the truth. It put me off a bit. So I went with the recipe at Bon Appetit. However, I used the technique on the Milk Bar site. Christina is very specific about how and why she does things.
Since I’ve never had the real thing, I can’t tell you what the difference is, but I can tell you this pie is rich. A teeny tiny piece is more than enough to satisfy, yet as the name states, you can’t help but want more.
If you are looking for a truly distinctive dessert, this pie is truly that. Give it a try, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
SERVINGS: 10 to 12
Oat Cookie Crust
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
- 6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Oat Cookie Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly, don’t worry it won’t spread all the way to the edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
- put the oat cookie, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor 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.
Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. In a bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix both sugars, milk powder, and salt on low until mixed. Add melted butter and paddle until dry ingredients are moist, about 2-3 minutes. 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 well blended.
Bake for 15 minutes only. the pies should be golden brown on top but will still be jiggly.
Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 325°f. depending on your oven, it may take 5 minutes or longer for the oven to cool to the new temperature. Keep the pies in the oven during this process. When the temp reaches 325°f, close the door and bake the pies for 5 minutes longer. The pies will still be jiggly in the very 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 or so.
Gently take the pan out of the oven and transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. Freeze your pies for at least 3 hours, or overnight, to condense the filling for a dense final product.
If not serving the pies right away, wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
- Transfer the pie from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost a minimum of 1 hour before you’re ready to serve.
- Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.