As I mentioned in the most recent Sunday Best, I tested out Momofuku Milk Bar‘s famous Crack Pie recipe. If you haven’t heard of Momofuku Milk Bar, it’s the sister bakery of the Manhattan-based Momofuku restaurant group founded by renowned chef David Chang. If you don’t know who that is, I highly recommend checking out the Anthony Bourdain-produced series “The Mind of a Chef” on Netflix.
Momofuku Milk Bar was founded by Christina Tosi, who you may have seen judging aspiring home cooks on MasterChef. She’s badass—not only is she an amazing baker, but she gives it to them straight. At the same time, she’s never impolite, and seems like somebody who truly worked her way to the top. Sort of like a female, pastry-making version of Gordon Ramsay.
Anyways, for my friend Kat’s birthday, I wanted to try my hand at their famous Crack Pie. However, I wanted to add in a Dutch twist. Speculaas is a spiced cookie, traditionally served around Christmastime in the Netherlands. It’s gained popularity in North America as a spread version, made with the ground-up Speculaas cookies (thanks to Trader Joe’s). As Kat is Dutch, I decided to make a Speculaas Cookie Butter-Infused Crack Pie.
Crack Pie with Speculaas Cookie Butter
Prep Time: 30 minutes / Bake Time: 60 minutes / Total Time: 90 minutes
Oat Cookie for Crust
- ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup rolled oats
- Crumbled oat cookie (recipe above)
- ¼ cup butter, plus a possible 2 extra tablespoons
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup nonfat dry milk (I used a skim milk powder)
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 cup Speculaas Cookie Butter (I used Penotti Cookie Notti, since we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 egg yolks
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
Oat Cookie for the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until well combined. Stir in the oats until fully incorporated.
- Spread the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until the cookie is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch. Crumble the cooled cookie for use in the crust.
For the Crust
- Combine the crumbled cookie, ½ cup butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined. When a little bit of the mixture is clumped between your fingers, it should hold together. If it doesn’t, add another 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Divide the crust between two 9-inch pie tins. Starting with the sides, press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, light brown sugar, dry milk, and salt. Slowly mix in the cookie butter, butter, cream, and vanilla. Once fully incorporated, add the egg yolks and combine. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and ensure the mixture is evenly combined.
- Divide the mixture between the two pie crusts and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°F and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the center is golden brown and a bit jiggly.
- Remove from the oven, keeping the Crack Pie in their pie pans, and let completely cool on a baking rack before transferring to the refrigerator. Once they are well-chilled, you can remove the pies from the pie pans. When ready to serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Can be made a day in advance. Stores well in the refrigerator for several days.
- Can use a stand mixer, but I’m not fancy like that. Probably recommended you do so if you have one, as it makes a difference in the texture of the pie filling (check out the notes on the original Crack Pie recipe for more information).
- Also from the original Crack Pie recipe: “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.”
Photo Credit: Milk Bar Store (milkbarstore.ca).