Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Pi Day Treat: Momofuku's Crack Pie

Want to hear a sad story? They don't have Pi Day in England, and all because of the stupid way they write dates. Instead of today being 3.14, it's 14.3. Since there are only 12 months in the year, that means that they can never experience the true nerdy delicious glory that is Pi Day. Luckily, they've got me!

This pie, called "Crack Pie" because it's so good it's like crack, comes from the restaurant Momofuku in New York. Admittedly, I made it a while ago, but I wanted to save blogging about it for this very special occasion. My friend Phileda picked it out. She is a lot of fun to cook and bake with because both of her parents are chefs, so she is very good at improvising and not freaking out when something goes wrong. And a lot of things went wrong, mostly thanks to my not realizing that there were two pages of recipe and not buying all the necessary ingredients. But thanks to Phileda's cool head and ingenuity, we perservered. And the pie was soooo good! Unbelievably rich (not surprising if you look at the ingredients), so I could only eat a little slice. Still, me, Phileda and our two other friends finished off almost the entire pie that very night. If you are looking for an amazing Pi Day treat and you have a table full of very hungry people (or just four 20-year-old girls who can eat like nobody's business), this is the pie for you!

Momofuku's Crack Pie

From the LA Times Web site

Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)

Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling.

Cookie for crust

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar

1 egg

Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.


Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.


1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar

3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

8 egg yolks

2 prepared crusts

Powdered sugar, garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.

4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells. Blogger's note: Don't be worried if the filling is really liquid-y. It will congeal, but it took us a lot longer than 15 minutes. Although we were using 9-inch pie pans, so that might be it.

5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Alisa Kurshan made Crack Pie for her brother's birthday and really loved it. She also said that when Ilana was at Cambridge she was upset that the English have 14.3 rather than 3.14 and thought that you may be the first person since then who has really cared.


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