Today’s pie is a modern piece of art: Crack Pie. Christina Tosi is a culinary genius. Everything she makes if fabulous with a cherry on top. She reinvented the way we look at layered cakes and she re-defined brown butter for me. I always treated it as a savory tool, but after her Barely Brown Butter Cake – well my relationship with brown butter and baking was forever changed.
To honor her, my love of brown butter, and to give this pie the extra mile of goodness (yes, it is possible) – I made a Brown Butter Crack Pie too. It added an unbelievable toffee, nutty, chewy addition going on. Plain and simple, it was a good thing.
Back to the basics, the foundation, The Crack Pie. This pie, oh my this pie… It’s sweet, salty, and sassy. Oh yeah, and SWEET. It’s like cookie-candy-insanity. The texture of the cookie crust is the best part, hands down. This show stopping pie will be the talk of the table and the best part – it can be made ahead of time. So go to the grocery store tomorrow and buy your powdered milk – it’s time to bake some pie!
& BROWN BUTTER CRACK PIE VARIATION
OAT COOKIE CRUST
- Silpat (or non-stick spray)
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
for my brown butter version 11 Tbsps: 6 Tablespoons browned; 3 Tbsp room-temp; plus 2 for assembly
- 5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
for my brown butter version: 1 full cup of oats
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
for my brown butter version: 1 stick of butter, browned and cooled slightly
- 6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar (for dusting), optional
OAT COOKIE CRUST
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with a silpat or parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter (regular or browned – in a medium saucepan or 3-4 minutes in the a covered (and weighted) bowl in microwave) ……plus 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.
Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter (or browned butter) and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight.
- Recipe by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and featured on Bon Appetit (slight variation for the brown butter version!)
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold.
- Browned Butter makes everything better, just go for it! 😉
We preferred the brown butter version – it tamed some of the sweetness and played well with the saltiness. But, both a note-worthy and amazing pies.
Keep your forks, there’s more pie coming,