Monday, July 1, 2013

Pie #1: Crack Pie

Mini Crack Pie
Crack Pie!
I like pie. I like pie more now than I did when I was young. I like making pie crust in an endless quest for perfection similar to the one for the perfect chocolate chip cookies or the perfect brownies. I actually baked all four of June's Daring Baking Challenge pies, but I haven't gotten around to posting them because J and I are in the midst of a cross-country move.

Here's the little box that we packed all of our stuff into:

And here's an inside view:

J actually did a fantastic stacking job which is not apparent from this shot. Behind that front layer of stuff-shoved-in-last is a tightly tetrised cube of furniture and boxes. It's packed well enough that I am expecting all of the fragile stuff to come out intact; cross your fingers for us. So far, the Halifax U-Haul customer service people have been a bit of a clustercuss. However, the box was dropped off on time and the driver was wonderful. She gave us her own number and told us that she'd come back for a same-day pick up if we got everything packed in time so that the box wouldn't have to sit over the weekend, which we did. So +1 driver, -20 phone service. We'll see if it ends up in our new city when and where it should. The two of us packed and moved our entire apartment ourselves, and a few days later we're both still pretty worn out despite quite a lovely, relaxing vacation.

Back to pie! Those of you who follow internet food trends will recognize the crack pie as one of the food blog obsessions of a few years back. I've been meaning to make it for a long time, but just like clothing trends it takes me a long time to jump on the bandwagon (I just bought my first pair of skinny jeans, mostly because the bootcuts that I like from the same line were discontinued). J and I both liked the crack pie, but I was actually a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps because there was a lot of built up hype for what tasted to me, as a Canadian, like a particularly good raisin-free butter tart. For all those South of the border who haven't eaten a lot of butter tarts, I totally get the excitement.

I quartered the crack pie recipe in order to make one 6" pie for J and I rather than two 10" pies. This was a good idea because quite apart from the pie's basic yumminess, it's very more-ish. I really do think that those are separate qualities. I can't be the only one who has said something like, "These peanut butter pretzels really aren't very good" while stuffing three more into my mouth. I'd eat this pie again. And again and again and again if it were in front of me because it has everything that makes my brain happy (Mmmm, reward theory). But flavour-wise I don't think I'd request it on my birthday.

Crack Pie Recipe
My rough quartering of the recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar

Step one, make the cookie for the crust (I only halved this because it's hard to quarter an egg yolk--we ate a lot of the extra and threw away some burnt bits):

56 g butter (1/4 cup)
34 g brown sugar (1/6 cup)
22 g white sugar (1 1/2 tbsp)
half an egg yolk (weigh and split, or about 1/2 tbsp)
32 g AP flour (1/4 cup)
45 g rolled oats (1/2 cup)
pinch of baking powder

Beat the first three ingredients together until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix in the last three ingredients until just incorporated. Spread the dough out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thickness and bake at 350F until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Step two, make the filling (quartered from original).

86 g sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
38 g brown sugar (3 tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp AP flour (corn powder in the recipe, but I was too lazy to find/make some)
1 tbsp milk powder (? I used non-instant skim milk powder)
56 g butter, melted (1/4 cup, half stick)
45 g heavy cream (3 tbsp)
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the butter, then add the cream, vanilla and the eggs. Done!

Step three, make the crust out of your cookie and bake your pie.

~half of your cookie, processed by food processor to sandy consistency
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tbsp brown sugar

Mix together, press into 6" pie/tart pan. Pour in your filling and place the whole thing on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350F until jiggly just in the centre. The original recipe calls for 15 minutes at 350F and a further 5 minutes at 325F, and so I started checking my pie after ten minutes. In practice, it took a LOT longer, hence my first recommendation.

Cool completely. Dust with icing sugar.

Consume in its entirety.

I always picked the raisins out of my utter tarts anyway.

"Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!"

1 comment:

  1. The cookie crust looks really delish, maybe that is what makes the pie unique. I made butter tarts for dinner on Saturday. They disappeared quickly. It seems to me they are the quintessential Canadian dessert, so a good choice for Canada Day weekend