Monday, November 22, 2010

8. Crack Pie

I attended a Thanksgiving potluck at a good friend’s house this weekend. I knew that I wanted to accomplish something off my Top 100 list for this occasion. My mind went through several ideas of what to make. At first I thought of sweet potato biscuits, but we had more than enough savory dishes on the menu. So it was back to my first love, baking sweets.

I then though of Pumpkin whoopie pies with a cream cheese marshmallow fluff filling, rolling the edges in fall colored sprinkles. I was not sold on that idea. I then thought of using cranberries in a dessert. Maybe some sort of decorated cake with a cranberry jam between the layers. I have done that in the past and loved it. Or maybe a cranberry orange spiced crostata. As you can see I debated over the issue for like a week.

Finally, after scanning over my list 10-20 times, my eyes settled on crack pie. I reviewed the recipe and though I had to plan in advance time to make it, it was easy enough. I thought the potluck participants would be amused with the name and brave enough to try the “infamous” or “famous” pie.

If you have never heard of crack pie, I guess I need to explain. “No, there is no crack in the crack pie.” Sorry, I am not your dealer; I do not provide chemically induced highs, maybe sugar highs, but I digress. :-) Most people who try to describe the pie describe it like pecan pie without the pecans. I guess that is truly the best comparison, but it does not really ring true.

Crack pie has a nicely salted yet sweet oatmeal cookie crust with a filling consisting of sugar, butter, more sugar, cream, and oh, yeah, did I mention more sugar. The recipe and the restaurant it originated from serve it cold, I preferred it at room temperature. It was more palate pleasing at room temperature to me. The pie is suppose to be addictive, like crack, hence the name. While I thought the pie was generally okay, it was not my cup of tea. I think the novelty, for me at least, is mostly in it name alone.

At least I can say I had it and I can mark another item off my list, a total win-win the way I see it.

The recipe can be found all over the internet, but was originated at Momofuku’s Milk Bar in New York City. It has been featured on Regis & Kelly, Martha Stewart, and some other morning shows. I followed the recipe from as adapted by Almost Bourdain because I fell in love with his pictures. What can I say; I eat with me eyes first.

I did bake the pie substantially longer than the recipe suggested after reading post all around the internet about the pie not setting correctly. My pies set-up with no problem and the filling was not runny. I baked the pie for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then lowered the oven to 325 degrees and baked it for another 30-40 minutes. If you want a gooier filling bake the pie for less time.

All in all, it was a fun pie to make for the novelty factor alone, but I really do not get all the hype.


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