Pie, to Fill the Void {Buttermilk Crack Pie}

Well, friends, once again I’ve left this space feeling lonely and neglected.  No excuses, other than work and children and life.  Where once this was my escape, now it sits forlorn, waiting.

I suppose everything has its season, and maybe the season for this blog has past.  I don’t know.  I think I’ll keep it around for days like this, when inspiration hits, and I have something worth sharing.

This recipe for Momofuku Milk Bar’s Crack Pie(r) has been floating around the interwebz for a few years now.  I have to say I didn’t really pay it any mind until Bon Appetit featured it a couple of months ago. And then, a few days ago, they went and ran a piece on Desperation Pies making a comeback.

And so, that’s where the idea for this crazy marriage between buttermilk chess pie and crack pie was born.  It’s a little bit salty, a little bit tangy, and a lot sweet – just the way I like it.  The only thing I can find wrong with this recipe is the fact that you have to wait overnight to dig into the finished product (I, of course, couldn’t wait and tried cutting it while it was still warm.  It was a delicious ugly mess).

It was so good, it brought me back to this space so that I could share it with you.

crackpiefinal

Ingredients

Servings: 10 to 12

Oat Cookie Crust

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 4tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt

Filling

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Begin by making the oat cookie crust.  Preheat oven to 350F and line a 13x9x2 inch metal pan with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Place 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons white sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Cream on high for 2 minutes.  Add egg and beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add oats, flour, powder, soda and salt and mix to combine.  Pat dough into prepared pan, spreading evenly, and back at 350F for 17-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

crumbsCrumble cookie as finely as you can, and work the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into the crumbs so that when you squeeze them together they form a ball.  Press cookie crust into a deep-dish pie pan. Prepare filling.

crackpiefilling

For the filling, combine sugars, buttermilk powder and salt.  In another bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, melted  butter, egg yolks and vanilla.  Pour over sugar mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.  Pour filling into prepared pie shell and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then reduce oven to 325F and bake for 20 minutes more (or until filling is mostly set).  If the edges start to get too brown, shield with foil.

crackpieoverhead

Remove pie from oven – the center may be a little loose still (it will continue to set up).  Allow to cool to room temperature.

crackpiesugarDust with powdered sugar.  Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 24 hours to rest. crackpieeatEnjoy!

Thinking of You {Molten Dulce de Leche Cakes}

I’d like to tell you I was thinking of you when I made this recipe.  I really would, because then, somehow, I could justify having eaten as many as I did.

The truth of the matter is, I haven’t thought about much of anything lately except these cakes. And maybe (perhaps?) the fall/Halloween festival at my son’s school which has (maybe?) consumed my entire world for the last month (or three).  But also these cakes.

And now?  That the fall festival has come and gone (and there was much rejoicing!)?  I can focus on you (ahem, I mean, these cakes).

Because holy molten deliciousness, Batman.  These are good.  No, not good.  No.  These are sinful.  Evil, really.  Mostly because they’re much too easy to make.  If they were difficult or time consuming, I might not be tempted to make them again.  And again.  And again.

And it only gets worse.  You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a truly ridiculous, over-the-top indulgence.  That’s how evil this really is.  But also?  Rich, and creamy, and gooey.  It’s really too good to pass up.  Terribly, awfully, sinfully good.

So see? I really was thinking of you after all.  You’re welcome.

This recipe entered my world via my Facebook newsfeed back at the beginning of the month.  It may have appeared in an earlier issue of Bon Appetit magazine, but I got it from bonappetit.com.   The ingredient list was comically short: 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, 2 1/2 Tablespoons of flour and a can of dulce de leche.  Mix and bake.

The only reason it took me almost a whole month to try it was I couldn’t find the canned dulce de leche they specified in the ingredient list (I wanted to try it exactly as written first – next time I’ll try making my own caramel).  I finally decided to check our local Wal-Mart of all places, and voila!  There, nestled on the top shelf, next to a variety of cans of la lechera, was a small collection of Nestle-brand dulce de leche.  I snatched up four, and scurried home to fulfill my month-long desire for these cakes.

You can find the recipe here.  I followed it to the letter, only deviating to add a pinch of salt to the batter before baking (next time I think I’ll add a bit more salt,  just because salted caramel is always better in my humble opinion).  I also didn’t have any 4-oz ramekins, so I used my 4-oz canning jars, and they worked like a charm.  We baked ours in a convection oven for 10 minutes, rather than the 12-14 the recipe specifies, and they were just right when they came out.  The whole thing only took 15 minutes start to finish, so you could easily whip these up at a dinner party (or just when you’re craving something sweet.  Like, right now).  I did mine in a stand mixer, but you could use a hand-held mixer if you don’t want to lug out your Kitchen Aid.  I would say you could mix them by hand, but you’d need to whisk pretty vigorously in order to get your eggs to double in volume.

Which, come to think of it, might mean you’d burn off enough calories to justify eating more than one of these little babies.  Not that anyone would ever be that self-indulgent.  Especially not me.

Enjoy (and Happy Halloween)!