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Momofuku Milk Bar's Recipe for Crack Pie

yield: 2 (10-inch) pies; each serves 8 to 10
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Ingredients

For the Oat Cookie Pie Crust

    (makes about 1 quarter sheet pan)

    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (available at Whole Foods)
    • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    • a pinch of baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    For the Crack Pie Filling

      (makes enough for 2 10-inch crack pies)

      • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
      • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
      • 1/4 cup milk powder (available at regular, non-fancy supermarkets like Safeway and King Soopers)
      • 1/4 cup corn powder (I bought some freeze-dried corn from Savory Spice Shop in Denver and ground it up in a food processor; you can also get it online here)
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
      • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
      • 3/4 cup heavy cream
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 8 egg yolks, at room temperature

      For the Crack Pie Assembly

        (for 2 10-inch crack pies)

        • 1 recipe quantity Oak Cookie Pie Crust (see above)
        • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, tightly packed
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
        • 1 recipe quantity Crack Pie Filling (see above)

        Instructions

        For the Oat Cookie Pie Crust Assembly

        • Heat the oven to 350 (F).
        • 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 rubber 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.
        • Pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line with parchment, 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 a 1/4 inch thick. The dough won't end up covering the entire pan; this is OK.
        • 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.

        For the Crack Pie Filling

        • Combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. 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 misture 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.

        For the Crack Pie Assembly

        • Position a rack in your oven to the lower-third position (for sea-level, place rack in the center of the oven) and preheat the oven to 365 (F) (for sea-level, preheat the oven to 350 (F)).
        • 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 fake it till you make it and 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 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and knead it in.
        • Divide the oat crust evenly between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. 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 sheets 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. Divide the crack pie filling evenly between the crusts; the filling should fill them three-quarters of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes (for sea-level, bake for 15 minutes) only. The pies should be golden brown on top but will still be very jiggly.
        • Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 350 (F) (for sea-level, reduce 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 oven reaches 350 (F) (or 325 (F)), close the door and bake the pies for 5 minutes longer. The pies should still be jiggly in the bull's-eye center but not around the outer edges. If the filling is too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or so.
        • Gently take the pies out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Then 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 results in 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 freezerm they will keep for 1 month. Transfer the pies from the freezer to the fridge to defrost for a minimum of 1 hour before consuming.
        • Serve crack pies cold with a dusting of confectioner's sugar.

        Notes

        Adapted for a high-altitude environment of approximately 5,000ft
         
        Sources for the Crack Pie Filling
         
        • Milk powder (available at regular, non-fancy supermarkets like Safeway and King Soopers)
        • 1Corn powder (I bought some freeze-dried corn from Savory Spice Shop in Denver and ground it up in a food processor; you can also get it online here)