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Turning into crackheads

Monday, July 26, 2010

CRACKING DELICIOUS. Photo by Hungry Caterpillar
There's been no end to comments on Momofuku's Crack Pie. It sells at US$44 a pop and has celebrity fans, including CNN's Anderson Cooper and Martha Stewart. So when Hungry Caterpillar was reviewing chef David Chang's memoir/cookbook Momofuku, she asked me to try making the pie even though the recipe isn't in the book.

The LA Times featured the recipe in February so I got down to business. It's a pie filled primarily with sugar, and as creator Christina Tosi explains it in the NYT Magazine:
"It’s something that I made one day for family meal at WD-50 ­­– we used to call it Sunday Funday when the chef was away. They would always tease me for eating all this candy and sugar, so I thought it would be funny to make this sugar pie. It was so good that it got to the point that I had to put it on someone else’s station because I couldn’t have it near me. It’s brown sugar, regular sugar, butter, cream, salt, and a little corn flour to hold it together." (Read the full interview here.)
I followed the recipe exactly except that I used a 9½-inch pie tin instead of a 10-inch tin and I made one pie instead of two. I left the pie in the oven for five minutes longer and the filling formed a beautiful golden top, all bubbly in the oven and still wobbly when I took it out. A crust forms as it cools and perhaps that's the "crack" part of the pie. Some people say it's better eaten warm but I did what the recipe recommends and chilled the pie overnight, covering the tin with cling film. The next day, the sweet butterscotch aroma from it was unbelievable! We could hardly wait until it was photographed to try a slice. Yes it was sweet, but that seemed to work for it. Everyone who tried it just loved it and no one complained about the level of sweetness.

When I do make the pie again­­ – and I will; look at the recipe, it's really simple (and I may do it just for the smell of butterscotch!) ­­– I think I might chill the cookie before using it for the pie crust. The recipe says to bake the cookie, and allow it to cool slightly before processing it with butter for the crust, but I had some leftover cookie which I kept in the fridge and it had a desirable crispness to it the next day.

I doubt anyone would pay even RM44 for "The Wayward Oven's Momofuku Crack Pie", nor would it get any B-List celebrity's endorsement. Still, this homemade pie is delicious. Try the recipe and let me know.

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