Milk Bar’s Crack Pie
This one is personal. Today we celebrate Pi Day — 3/14 — also lovingly referred to as pie day. But perhaps most importantly (to me) it’s the anniversary of when my husband and I began dating. Today marks 16 years together. Sixteen! I’m 32 years old… which means I’ve spent half of my life with John by my side. We are decidedly celebrating with milk bar crack pie! Let’s discuss.
The mastermind behind it all, Christina Tosi
You’ve heard of crack pie, right? It’s the famous dessert developed by genius chef Christina Tosi of Momofuku’s Milk Bar. I’m not kidding, the woman is on another level. This crack pie recipe — as are most of her creations — has so many different components that the average person (or chef!) would never dream about pairing together. And yet the results are flawless, flavor-filled show stoppers that our world is certainly better off having experienced. In other words, you need this recipe in your life!
Who cares? This girl!
When my husband and I lived in the city, Milk Bar was a common late night haunt of ours. This was before kids, of course, when our average dinner time was pushed back until 8:30 or 9 so we wouldn’t get to bars too early. Which worked out well, because after a few cocktails, you may find yourself in need of a sweet dessert to carry you through till morning. In NYC, Milk Bar stays open till 1 am on the weekend! Needless to say, there was an occasional slice of Momofuku crack pie or compost cookies mixed in with our big salty pimp from Big Gay Ice Cream (if you’ve never heard of it, please look this place up immediately).
Step 1: Killer cookie crust
Milk Bar crack pie is the culmination of two unique recipes being married together. The oat cookie crust is the star of the show. It’s buttery, salty! (thank god for a pastry chef who doesn’t shy away from salt!), chewy, and should henceforth be used as the base for all pies. Agree? AGREE.
I used two containers of Modern Oats Just Oats which is the exact amount needed for the double pie recipe below; if all you’ve got is one container, you can still make a single pie! These oats are everything — I’m talking light, tender, whole rolled oat perfection. I have tried almost every flavor in their line at this point, and while I definitely have favorites, I was so excited to learn that they carry the quality basics as well. Above all, use high quality ingredients when you cook and the results will speak for themselves.
Step 2: Gooey crack-like filling
The second component is a bit more laborious. However, what is Milk Bar crack pie if not for its infamous gooey, luscious filling? If you’re reading through the ingredient list, you’re possibly scratching your head at the addition of corn powder. It’s exactly what it sounds like: freeze dried corn that’s been pulverized into powder. And you can pick up your very own bottle at your local Milk Bar store or order online.
Side note: one of the perks of having my husband work in NYC is that any time I have a craving — Doughnut Plant? Daily Provisions? Murray’s Bagels? — or am in need of a special ingredient, I politely ask (read: guilt him) to make a special trip and bring home the goods.
Thanks, hubs, for your contribution to our anniversary dessert! You worked really hard!
Step 3: Pat yo’self on the back – you just made Milk Bar crack pie!
There is definitely a bit of skill required to pull this together, but Christina Tosi provides incredible detail in her instructions, along with tips and tricks, to make your crack pie endeavor a successful one. For real people, you can do this.
As for the key to a long, happy relationship? I can only share what works for us: open communication, respect for one another, and a mutual admiration for good food that is so immense, so all encompassing, that we literally never run out of things to talk about (because, hello, we pretty much always talk about food).
If you’re going to make Milk Bar’s crack pie recipe, make sure you have someone extra special lined up to share it with. I’m so grateful I have my forever and always, food-loving partner in crime wrapped around my arms. Life would be so much less wonderful without you stealing food from off my plate.
Happy anniversary, my love.
*This post was sponsored by Modern Oats. Thank you for supporting Well Seasoned and the brands that allow me to keep producing content. All opinions are my own.
If you make this Milk Bar Crack Pie, please let me know by leaving a review below!Print
Milk Bar’s Crack Pie
Christina Tosi’s infamous crack pie from Momofuku’s Milk Bar definitely lives up to the hype with it’s creamy, gooey filling and buttery oat cookie crust!
- Prep Time: A long ass time (or roughly 30 min + additional 15 min to make cookie crust + cooling time)
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Total Time: -25929670.016667 minute
- Yield: Makes 2 (10-inch) pies; each serves 8 to 10 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: New American
For the pies (makes 2 [10-inch] pies):
- 1 recipe oat cookie (recipe follows)
- 15 g (1 tbs tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 1 g (1/4 tsp) salt
- 55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted, or as needed
- 1 recipe crack pie® filling (recipe follows)
- confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
For the oat cookie recipe (makes about 1 quarter sheet pan):
- 115 g (8 tbs) butter, at room temperature
- 75 g (1/3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 40 g (3 tbs) granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 80 g (1/2 cup) flour
- 120 g (1 1/2 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 0.5 g (1/8 tsp) baking powder
- 0.25 g (pinch) baking soda
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- pam or other nonstick cooking spray (optional)
For the crack pie filling (makes enough for 2 pies):
- 300 g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 180 g (3/4 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
- 24 g (1/4 cup) corn powder
- 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 225 g (16 tbs) butter, melted
- 160 g (3/4 cup) heavy cream
- 2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks**
For the pies:
- Heat 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 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) 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 shells 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 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 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 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 still too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or so.
- Gently take the pan of crack pies® out of the oven and transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the cooling process by carefully transferring the pies to the fridge or freezer if you’re in a hurry.) 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 result of 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 freezer, they will keep for 1 month. Transfer the pie(s) from the freezer to the refrigerator to defrost a minimum of 1 hour before you’re ready to get in there.
- Serve your crack pie® cold! Decorate your pie(s) with confectioners’ sugar, either passing it through a fine sieve or dispatching pinches with your fingers.
For the Oat Cookie recipe:
- 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 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 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:
You must use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make this filling. It only takes a minute, but it makes all the difference in the homogenization and smooth, silky final product. I repeat: a hand whisk and a bowl or a granny hand mixer will not produce the same results. Also, keep the mixer on low speed through the entire mixing process. If you try to mix the filling on higher speed, you will incorporate too much air and your pie will not be dense and gooey-the essence of crack pie®.
- Combine the sugar, brown sugar, milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and 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 mixture 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.
**it will be the death of your wildly dense pie filling if there is any bit of egg white in the mixture. I believe the easiest, and best, way to separate an egg is to do so in your hands. You may also use the two half-shells to separate the eggs, but the cracked shells can tear the yolk open, and you may not totally separate all the white. If you do this by hand, you can feel when you get every last bit of white away from the yolk. Remember to wash your hands under warm soapy water for 30 seconds or more before and after you handle raw eggs! Save your egg whites for peanut butter nougat or pistachio cake, or cook them up for your doggies, for a shinier coat.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 455.3
- Sugar: 47.3g
- Sodium: 131.2mg
- Fat: 28.6g
- Saturated Fat: 16.9g
- Carbohydrates: 55.3g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Protein: 3.6g
- Cholesterol: 190.5mg
Keywords: pie, crack pie, oat, oatmeal, pie crust, oat crust, butter, eggs, corn powder, milk bar, momofuku, christina tosi