Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Crack Pie: The Tweaked Home Version

March 5th, 2010 · 8 Comments

The biggest recipe sensation to hit the net is the Crack Pie  – a buttery, creamy, sinfully rich affair that costs $44 at its origin: Momofuku’s Milk Bar in New York City.

What’s worth $44 in this pie? Nothing that you can’t replicate for at last a fourth of the cost at home – if you’re any kind of baker.

Here’s the tweaked recipe – “adapted” from several now out there. Let the pies bake and “set up” – don’t open the door to check them until 5 minutes before final baking time. Two 9-inch pie pans are, I think, better than the 10-inchers originally called for.

Homemade Crack Pie

For 2 9-inch or 10-inch pies:

For the crust:

  • Crumbled cookie mixture (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon non-fat powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup minus 1-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare crusts: combine the cookie crumbles, butter, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. (Or, use an electric mixer on high speed to combine well.) Process or blend until the mixture holds together when squeezed.

Divide the mixture into two greased 9- or 10-inch pie plates. Press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of pans. Set aside.

Make filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl with wire whisk, combine sugar, brown sugar, salt, powdered milk and corn starch. Use an electric mixer on low speed with whisk attachment to add melted buter;  add heavy cream and vanilla and mix.

Use a wire whisk to add egg yolks, one at a time, until just incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl well. Do not beat.

Divide mixture into two prepared pans and put into oven on rack set at center position. (If  using small oven, bake them separately so enough air circulates around pie to set filling evenly.)

 Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes; lower heat to 325 degrees and bake about 12 to 15 minutes more, or until the filling is set, but still shakes lightly. Pies should be golden brown when done.

Note: 9-inch pies may take up to 20 minutes’  baking time to set.

Cool on racks for 30 minutes; refrigerate until well chilled. Dust pies well with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes 2 9-inch or 10-inch pies.

Note: These pies freeze very well, wrapped tightly. (Do not dust with sugar till just before serving.)

Baker’s note: Individual ovens vary widely and yield different results. You may want to bake a test pie before baking the full recipe; adjust as needed both time and temperature.

Oatmeal Cookie for Crust

This oatmeal cookie to crumble for crust can be made ahead.

  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
    1/8 teaspoon baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, but not melted
    1/3 cup light brown sugar
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup rolled oats, lightly spooned into measuring cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy and sugars are incorporated.

On slow speed, beat in egg.

Add flour mixture, a little at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition and beating well to incorporate. On low speed, add the oats and beat till well mixed.

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet. Spread the mixture onto the sheet with a rubber spatula.

 Bake about 18 minutes, or until golden brown and cookie mixture is done. Do not underbake. Remove and cool. Crumble the mixture finely to use for crust.

Makes 2 9-inch or 10-inch pie crusts.



Tags: Recipes: What's Cooking! · Today in the World of Food

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Terri // Mar 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Ok, so I’m guessin’ this is just a pie crust, or did I miss something. Not being a baker, totally possible. So, you just fill with whatever?

  • 2 Jan Norris // Mar 5, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Not a baker…for sure.

    See: “FOR THE FILLING:” above.
    It makes a pecan pie-like gooey center, without the nuts. In an oatmeal-cookie crust.
    Sinful, except: I do still want pecans!

  • 3 Eric Barton // Mar 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    This reminds me of gooey butter cake. I had never had it until I married into a family from St. Louis. Now my mother-in-law makes it for my birthday. It’s like it sounds — the gooiest cake you can imagine.

  • 4 ksteinhoff // Mar 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Oh, THAT kind of Crack Pie.

    Since you’re in FL, I wondered….

  • 5 Mark Steinhoff // Mar 7, 2010 at 11:43 am


    The recipe that you have listed is very close to the gooey butter cake that we have in St. Louis. I will send you some St. Louis gooey Butter Cake for you to sample and compare to your version of crack pie.

  • 6 Terri // Mar 7, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Yes Mar, you can send that cake to my attention. I do all of Jan’s “tasting”. Isn’t that right Jan? 🙂 😉

  • 7 Jan Norris // Mar 8, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Mark: Terri’s on crack pie. Do not believe a word she says – except the part about my being a superb baker and overall wonderful human being.

  • 8 Terri // Mar 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Mark, Jan just has so much going on, she just can’t keep up with everyone and what they do. The poor thing is just exhausted. This is why she hired me as her “taster”, she just can’t handle it all. Don’t worry Jan, I’ll take care of it….you just rest now.

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