#26 Momofuku's Crack Pie

Posted by Chrisi

Single-handedly, this pie makes me think that I should quit my very fulfilling day job and bake pies. The infamous NY restaurant Momofuku spear-headed by David Chang sells this pie (and three others) for $44 a pie (plus shipping). Crack Pie (registered trademark) really is nothing more than a chess pie in a cookie crust. Its main ingredients are butter (~2 sticks), sugar, eggs and heavy cream. In fact, this pie is best served cold. Why? Room temperature butter = a big greasy mess.

I hate to say it for fear of culinary blasphemy… but Crack pie symbolizes what is largely wrong with new American cuisine. It is the pie equivalent of fried cheeseburgers. I ask, “Why is more sugar, more eggs and more fat better? Why is it haute cuisine?” I’m not arguing that pie should be healthy. Of course, it isn’t. My pie crusts are made with saturated fat and more saturated fat. But my pursuit is not based on the “more is more” philosophy. I prefer a little of something unexpected. Like berries and mint. Lemon and lavender (it’s on my “to-do” list). I once made a Rainer cherry pie and paid $16 for cherries alone. For that pie, I would pay $44. But $44 for a pie (a registered trademark pie) that my great-grandmother likely made in Appalachia because she only had eggs, sugar and butter… no way! Over-the-top is not artesian. You’re paying for the name… not the pie. America, please, try some REAL pie. (Dare I be so bold as to say a naughty pie?).

I can bitch because I made this pie for my 34th birthday (yes, I am very behind in my blogging as I am no longer 34). The brown butter flavor was great. It was rich, even decadent. But eat it fast!

Taken from LA Times, Living section, February 22, 2010

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. I made one 9-inch pie.

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


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 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. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 15 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

· 3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 8 egg yolks

· 2 prepared crusts

· Powdered sugar, garnish


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 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. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells. 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. 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.

Each of 16 servings: 432 calories; 4 grams protein; 45 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 27 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 187 mg. cholesterol; 36 grams sugar; 125 mg. sodium.


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