Saturday, May 6, 2017

Momofuku inspired Crack Pie Bars, The Crack Pie Recipe and the Story of how I discovered Crack Pie.

If you've kept up with my Blog, you know my story about The Milk Bar's Cristina Tosi and Crack Pie. There's an entire post about it. I've reposted it here. Here is a version of that Pie, in a Bar Recipe.
Just like the Pie, these are definitely addictive.

Crack Pie Bars

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
A Food Processor
1 - 9" X 9" Baking Pan Lined with Parchment Paper extending over all four sides by 2". I cut 2 separate pieces.
Confectioner's Sugar for Dusting.

1 1/2 C of Finely Crushed Oatmeal Cookie Crumbs. I make my own Cookies but you can also buy them. (about 15 Cookies)
Process them in a Food Processor until they are a fine crumb texture.
3 TBS Butter, melted.
2 TBS Brown Sugar

The Crust

In the Food Processor:
Cookie Crumbs
Melted Butter
Pulse to make a Crumb Texture.

Transfer to the Pan and Press evenly to form the Crust Layer.
Set aside.


8 TBS Butter, softened.
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 TBS Milk Powder
2 TBS Corn Starch
1/3 C Heavy Cream
4 Egg Yolks, beaten with a fork.

In a Large Mixing Bowl with a Hand Mixer:
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Mix well until well incorporated and Creamy Smooth.

Milk Powder
Corn Starch
Egg Yolks
Beat just until well combined.

Pour evenly over the Crust Layer.

Bake 15 minutes.
Open the Oven Door and Reduce the Temperature to 325 degree.
Close the Door and continue baking for 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove the Pan to a Rack to Cool for 15 minutes.
Refrigerate until completely Cooled.

Remove it from the Pan using the Parchment Paper overhang.
Slide onto a Cutting Surface, removing the Paper.
Dust evenly with Confectioner's Sugar.
Cut into Squares.
Transfer to a Serving Platter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

What do Guthrie, Oklahoma and New York City have in common?

Crack Pie!

We travel through the entire state of Oklahoma to visit relatives in Kansas.
We stop mid way for lunch in Guthrie.

Guthrie is a charming old town filled with Antique Shops, Cafes, a Tea Room and our favorite discovery, Katie's Diner. Katie was the daughter of the original owners.

The owners, Aileen and Von are the nicest people and that's one of the reasons that Katie's Diner is always busy and the food is always great.
The menu is down home cookin' and the atmosphere is as American as Apple Pie!

Kaycee is on the wait staff and she's always there when we go and that's only twice a year for us, so she's established, always in a good mood and can handle a crowd!

Several years ago we discovered the diner and there was a sign on the wall  behind the register that advertised Crack Pie as one of the Pie choices. 
We ordered it and it is so good, you leave wanting more...... hence the name I suppose.

I asked Aileen if she would share the recipe and she told us that she found the recipe in an issue of Bon Appetit  Magazine and the pastry chef that created it was named Christina Tosi from New York City.

When I returned home I did my research and found out the story behind the pie and the baker!
Christina Tosi has become one of my favorite, up and coming, pastry chefs in America.
She is part of the staff that opened Momofuku Milk Bar in 2004 and her creations are innovative and far out!

She wrote and published her first book in 2011. It's titled:( MILK, Momofuku Milk Bar)

The recipes are like no others, original, contemporary and Christina has concepts about pastry and baking like no other chef I have ever read about. 

The next time we passed through Guthrie and ate at the diner, we bought an entire Crack Pie and took it to Kansas. Needless to say it was a hit.
On our way back to Texas, we stopped again and had lunch, talked about Crack Pie. I told Aileen I thought she should buy a pie case to highlight all of her incredible pies, and especially Crack Pie. She told me that pie cases are expensive and space was limited. I gave her some money and told her to save up for a pie case.
The next time we went back to the diner ......... Aileen and Von had a Pie Case!

We recently stopped at Katie's Diner and I told Aileen about my blog and asked her permission to tell the story about how we discovered a New York City baker's incredible Crack Pie in an incredible Diner in Guthrie, Oklahoma!

Thank you to Aileen, Von and Kaycee for doing what you do and doing it well.
We will always stop at Katie's Diner as long as we travel from Texas to Kansas!

We've made it many times and we never seem to have enough to go around. The recipe makes two pies and when you make it, you'll know why!
This recipe may seem complicated to the average baker. As you check out the list of ingredients, they are all essential to the final product. It's not a pie that you would make as your "first" pie. It's time consuming and decadent. However, once you've taken the time to master it, I believe you'll make it again and again. We've only gotten rave reviews from those that have eaten it.
If you feel that it's too complicated, too expensive or you think you can substitute some of the ingredients..... call your friend that is a baker with experience and have them make it for you!
If you think you'll make it more than once, buy enough of two of the following ingredients listed and freeze them so you'll have them on hand: Milk Powder and Corn Powder, both essential to the end result of Crack Pie.

Let me introduce you to Crack Pie!

Crack Pie

Oat Cookie Crust:

8 TBS (1 stick) butter room temperature
1/3 C tightly packed light brown sugar
3 TBS granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/8 tsp baking powder
a pinch of baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment:
both sugars
Cream together for 2 - 3 minutes until pale and fluffy
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula
On Low Speed:
Add the egg yolk and increase the speed to medium high and beat for 1 -2 minutes.
Sugar should be fully dissolved and the mixture will be pale white.

On Low Speed, Add:
baking powder
baking soda
Mix for 1 minute
Scrape the sides of the bowl

Spray a sheet pan with a cooking spray and line with parchment paper or just line the pan with a Silpat.
Plop the dough in the center of the pan and, with a spatula, spread it out until it's 1/4" thick.
The dough will not cover the entire entire pan and that's 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.

You must use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make this filling.
It only takes a minute and it makes a difference in the end result.
Keep the mixer on low speed throughout the entire mixing process.
If you try to mix it on high, you will incorporate too much air and your pie will not be dense and gooey, which is the essence of this pie.

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C tightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 C milk powder ( I get it in the Bulk section of Central Market)
1/4 C corn powder ( I get the dried corn at Central Market and grind it in a coffee grinder)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
16 TBS (2 sticks) butter, melted
3/4 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla ( get the best you can afford)
8 egg yolks

In the stand mixer with a paddle attachment:
granulated sugar
brown sugar
milk powder ( this is not Powdered Milk, it's essential to the recipe and don't omit it because you don't have it.... look for it and buy it).
corn powder ( freeze dried %100 Organic Whole Corn)  Do not use a flavored product, it has to be plain and all natural kernels.You need to grind it to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or food processor) Again, this is essential to the taste and consistency of Crack Pie)
Mix on low speed until evenly blended

Add melted butter and blend 2 -3 minutes until all ingredients are moist.
Add heavy cream and vanilla for 2 minutes more. Scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg yolks just until well combined.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees

To make the crust:
The oat cookie, broken into pieces
1 TBS tightly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp
4 TBS butter, melted

Place the broke up cookie pieces, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until it resembles wet sand.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the butter and knead the butter and the ground cookie mixture until moist enough to form into a ball. If it's not moist enough, melt an additional 1 - 1 1/2 tsp butter and knead in.

Divide the mixture evenly between 2 (10 inch) pie tins.

Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the dough firmly into the pans and make sure the bottoms and sides are evenly covered.

Put both pans on a baking sheet pan.
Divide the filling evenly between the crusts. The filling should fill them 3/4 full. Bars:( this is where you would pour the batter into the 9"X13".
Bake for 15 minutes only.
The pies will be golden brown on top but will still be very jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. It may take up to 5 minutes to cool to the new temperature, depending on your oven.
Keep the pies in the oven during this time.
When it reaches 325 degrees, close the door and bake 5 minutes longer.
If the filling is too jiggly at this stage, bake for 5 minutes more.

Gently take the pies out of the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Freeze the pies for at least 3 hours or over night to condense the filling for a dense final product. Freezing is the signature technique and result of a perfectly executed Crack Pie.
Transfer the pies from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

Serve the pie cold and Dust each pie with Confectioner's Sugar.

Peace in the Kitchen!

The cookie that makes the crust.

Now it's ready to be processed with brown sugar, salt and melted butter.

This is the Dried Corn I buy and process it in a Food Processor.
When you buy it, they're Kernels. I just return the powder to the bag to store it.

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