So, I was watching the latest series of Chef’s Table on Netflix, and in her episode, Christina Tosi was telling a story about how she tried to make a dessert for the family meal at WD50 and royally cocked it up. However, when the other chefs tried her concoction, they said it was ‘incredible’ and ‘like crack’. Crack pie was born. How then, could I watch this and not try to make it myself?!
The problems started almost as soon as I started my first run through of the recipe. There are around four different versions of the crack pie recipe floating around on the internet, none of which agree with each other. They vary in ingredients, cooking temperatures and times, so this one was a bit of trial and error for me. So, below I present my attempt at reaching the ‘original’ recipe by stealing from the various instructions found across the web, and watching every video I could find of Christina making it herself.
So crack pie is this ‘amazing dessert to end all desserts’, but what actually is it? Well, you start off by making a soft oatmeal biscuit (“cookie”), which is pretty good in its own right, which is then blended and mixed with melted butter to make a pie case. This is then filled with what is quite possibly the least healthy mixture of ingredients on the planet – butter, sugar, sugar and cream.
Although this may sound like a gross nightmare, there is some balancing done with salt throughout the pie crust and filling, which makes sure the crack pie, although seriously rich and indulgent, never crosses into inedible. The good thing about this is that one crack pie really does go a long way. Think of a tiny slice like you do with baklava; a couple of bites are the perfect sweet ending to a meal.
What could be more addictive than crack pie? Well real crack probably, but this comes pretty close. A perfectly dense and rich dessert for the end of dinner.
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 75 g light brown sugar
- 40 g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 80 g plain flour
- 120 g porridge oats
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 15 g light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 55 g unsalted butter melted
- 150 g caster sugar
- 90 g light brown sugar
- 10 g milk powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 125 g unsalted butter melted
- 90 mL double cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Cream together the butter and sugars for 1 minute until well combined, before adding the egg and beating in.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Spread the cookie out on a lined and greased baking sheet to around 0.5 cm thick.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, before removing and allowing to cool completely. The cookie should still be pretty soft when you pull it out.
Pulse the cooled cookie in a food processor to break it up into crumbs. Add the sugar and salt as a seasoning and mix well to combine.
Add the melted butter to the crumbs and mix in. It should have the consistency of wet sand.
Press the mixture into a deep 25cm pie case, pressing firmly into all the sides and corners. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Mix the sugars, milk powder and salt well to combine. Introduce the melted butter and beat for around 2 minutes.
Add the cream, vanilla extract and egg yolks and mix until glossy and homogeneous, around 1 minute.
Pour the filling into the pie case; it should be around ¾ full.
Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.
Open the oven door and reduce the temperature to 170oC. Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes. The pie should be wobbly in the centre, but not around the outer edge.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, before chilling further in the fridge for a few hours. You can also freeze the pie for later.
Serve cold, sprinkled with icing sugar.