Baking | Momofuku Milk Bar’s (in)famous Crack Pie … how the cookie crumbled with the Daring Bakers

“It could be argued that there is an element of entertainment in every pie, as every pie is inherently a surprise by virtue of its crust.”
Janet Clarkson

Crack Pies MomofukuCrack Pie … sweet indulgence. This is Momofukus trademark pie, a classic as craveable as the name implies, one that guarantees an instant sugar high. For once, this is just pure decadence in a sweet sort of way. Nothing healthy about it other than the oats in the base maybe. Yet it’s a pie you have to try. It’s one I watched bloggers make and celebrate ecstatically when Momofuku’s Milk came out in 2011.

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!

I had the book on my wish list back then. Somehow never bought it. Had this pie bookmarked. For some reason never made it. Life took over and I forgot about it. Much water flowed under the bridge. Then came this challenge. I was ecstatic when I read  “Life of Pie” . What’s not to love?

I made a delicious Strawberry Pie some time back using a pie bird. That was around the time Life of Pi was winning Oscars galore. I really enjoyed making that, yet I enjoyed this challenge more. More so after my recent bout of Smoothie madness, Crack Pie indulgence felt well deserved!

Crack Pies MomofukuSuch an unassuming sweet pie to make. With a name like this, Crack Pie seems enticing. Interpret the name as you like, but the result is the same … an all time delicious sugar high! In the best meaning possible way, {crack adjective. first-rate, splendid} this very rich, chewy, sweet-salty crack pie in an oat cookie crust fits right in!

Crack Pies Momofuku 5

 Bon Appetit says about Crack Pie, “Anyone who has taken a bite of this Milk Bar best seller immediately knows the reason for the sassy name. Once you start eating this rich, salty-sweet pie with its oat cookie crust, you won’t be able to stop.” A thick, chewy crust filled with an outrageously sweet gooey filling, it’s a wicked sugar-rush. You’ll want small servings!

Crack Pies Momofuku 6I bookmarked this the minute I saw the DB challenge. I just knew I would make mini crack pies. I had to! But I procrastinated. So much continues to happen and I finally got my oat crust going on the 26th! Of course I didn’t take into account that the pie needs an overnight rest. That might explain this slightly delayed posting, but I loved making it.Crack Pies Momofuku Crack Pies Momofuku

The idea of baking a huge giant sized oat cookie for the crust was entirely charming. It seemed like such fun though I was a bit unsure of a crisp cookie as my cookie batter was a bit soft. Happily enough, it baked up a yummy giant crisp cookie. A little nibble and I knew it should be crumbled asap. So addictive that it might not have lasted otherwise.

Crack Pies Momofuku Most pictures of the pie online are like ugly duckling pies so I knew there was nothing fancy in the looks department. I did manage to make rustic little versions though. I loved them … plain, simple, whimsical, sweet, chewy, quintessentially Momofuku.

The pie i

Crack Pies Momofuku It’s a simple pie. A little mix here and there and it’s ready for the oven. A few changes? Yes of course. I didn’t have milk powder so added a spoon of cocoa instead. Also a scraped vanilla bean because I feared eggy aromas from the 4 yolks. And as always, low fat cream instead of whipping cream. Everything worked beautifully!

Crack Pies Momofuku I wasn’t sure the little pies would leave the tins happily the next day, but they obliged sweetly after a little prodding. So here are my little crack pies, ones I absolutely loved making. I waited for the babies to be ‘delivered‘ with a baited breath. This was one of my more fun DB challenges as I had dreamt of making Crack Pie for long. I wish I had more time, but then I’ve made many pies before.

Pies Some of my favourites pies on PAB are Cherry Phyllo Pie {with home made phyllo}, Mixed Berry & Cherry Pie, Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie, Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Tropical Cream Pie, Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie, Christmas Fruit Mince Pies and Apple Brown Sugar Meringue Pies.

Thank you Rachael for offering us the delicious Life of Pie. I loved the challenge, especially that you chose Crack Pie as one of the four. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to dig into more sweet pies!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Perfect Pumpkin Pie … and simple too {#getsmart}

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
Jim Davis

Perfect Pumpkin Pie India is pretty much pumpkin country, the yellow and rather mellow squash that you will find around every nook and corner all year through, a vegetable I looked at rather disdainfully until I made my first Praline Pumpkin Pie 2 years ago. The lad nudges me this time every year to remind me he l♥ves it! This one is for him – a Perfect Pumpkin Pie.Perfect Pumpkin Pie Mentally conditioned by food blogs, lovely pumpkin posts painting the net in a orange hue, I eagerly await fall. It makes me look at the pumpkin in wonder, a rather underestimated veggie, yet one that holds a lot of promise. The beautiful flavour of the pumpkin soup I shared with Jamie in London holds a special connect. It was the company, the atmosphere, the euphoria of that first time we all met. Somewhere in the middle of all this, the humble pumpkin got an even more elevated status in my life!Perfect Pumpkin Pie I made soup last year, and for some silly reason it never got blogged. This pumpkin pie is the result of inspiration out of the blue. I saw a mail in my inbox saying ‘If you had two extra hours in a day, how would you spend it?‘ … and I thought, hmmm, I wonder!Perfect Pumpkin Pie An extra 2 hours for the obsessed baker in me is like an impossible dream. My life seems to run choc-a-bloc morning to night, balancing the fine act of racing through laundry, trying to feed a blog, a brood, a pooch, snatching a few harassed moments to take photographs while the dog is now tall enough to get to table tops {… CUTE as a button too}, grocery {sigh}…and then emails of course!CocoThat thought stayed in my mind while I ran the laundry that morning, and teased me while I went to the vegetable vendor, our fabulous sabziwala. Someone was buying pumpkin and the fellow cut a nice bright one for her. That was my cue!Perfect Pumpkin PieGive me 2 extra hours and watch me bake with joy, bake something to fill home with autumnal aromas, pumpkin gently roasting {of course you can buy it canned as well in the rest of the world, but we know no luxuries of the sort in India!}. Much from scratch with this too, I have never had tomatoes or pumpkin out of a can here. I have read though that fresh roasted pumpkin beats the canned one hands down. Got an extra hour? Roast some!Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Perfect Pumpkin PieI always have tins of condensed milk on hand after having indulged in this absolutely addictive Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream from Perfect Scoop. You need less than an hour to make it, need resolve to keep away from the freezer, and finally 10 minutes to polish it off. But if you can grab those two extra hours, then I recommend you head for pie!
Perfect Pumpkin PieThe verdict was delicious! The terrible teen screwed up her nose and said “Ewwwwwww …. pumpkin!!,” and then predictably went on to ravenously demolish the slice, and ask for another. There was something about it!! The boy lapped it up … it was his on request after all!!Perfect Pumpkin PiePerfect Pumpkin PieThis is a pie right for fall. The filling … silky, smooth and spicy! The crust just right, not too crisp, yet offers a handsome bite, gently teasing the palette with beautiful pistachio flavours and a pleasing texture. I wish I could offer you a slice…it was that good, and it went FAST!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie …with fresh roasted pumpkin puree

51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: One 9 inch pie

8-10

Perfect Pumpkin Pie …with fresh roasted pumpkin puree

This is a pie right for fall. The filling … silky, smooth and spicy! The crust just right, not too crisp, yet offers a handsome bite, gently teasing the palette with beautiful pistachio flavours and a pleasing texture. {Filling from Eagle - www.eaglebrand.com/recipes/details/?RecipeId=3929&CategoryIndex=11}

Ingredients

Pumpkin puree

600gm pumpkin with peel

2tsp pumpkin pie spice

50gm powdered sugar

Pistachio Pie Crust for 1 9" pie

100gm unsalted butter, chilled, cubed

150gm cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar

50gm pistachios

1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 tbsp cold water

Pumpkin Pie Filling

440gm roasted pumpkin puree {recipe above}

1 can condensed milk

2 large eggs

1/2 vanilla bean scraped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    Pumpkin puree
  1. Remove seeds etc of pumpkin {I used a long slice}, wrap in foil and bake at 180C for about 45 minutes.
  2. Once warm enough to handle, peel and chop the roasted pumpkin, add pie spice and sugar and puree. I find that the pie spice gets an enhanced flavour in warm puree and matures well.
  3. Yields about 425-440gms of pumpkin puree {approximately 1 15oz can}
  4. Perfect Pie Crust
  5. Blend flour, pistachios, sugar and salt in processor till nuts are ground very fine, {Thermomix: Speed 8, 7 seconds}
  6. Add butter and blend until you get breadcrumb like mix, and then a little more {2-3 seconds}. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, and process till the dough begins to hold together when you pinch it. {Thermomix Speed 6, 5 seconds}
  7. Turn onto work surface and pat together gently into a ball {donot overwork dough}
  8. Either roll between 2 sheets of baking parchment to line the pie tin, or push into place with your fingertips. Chill for about 30 minutes.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Cool. {I baked mine in the last 15 minutes while the pumpkin was roasting}
  10. Assembling Pie
  11. Preheat oven to 190C. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  12. Reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2011/11/baking-perfect-pumpkin-pie-and-simple-too.html

And since I had so much extra time, I shot some pictures of out CUTE Coco … she was ‘all eyes’!! Oh to have those extra two hours more often!Coco
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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India






Dessert| No Bake Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie … #pieformikey

Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I’m waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal.”
Jennifer Perrilo @ In Jennie’s Kitchen

Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie The food blogging community is a tight knit one. Foodies enjoy ‘being’ together, offering loads of positive vibes and camaraderie everywhere they go. Twitter is one place where you can catch most of the action. On Fridays especially, the timeline practically races away! It’s infectious!Upside Down Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie It’s a place where we all come together, celebrate the highs wholeheartedly, and yet reach out in the face of loss! The outpouring of support, the love, the thoughts, the prayers for Jennifer Perrilo & her girls has been overwhelming. This Friday foodies across the globe are tweeting their love & support for Jennifer with #pieformikey – an outstanding community!Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie The time-line shocked a lot of us a couple of days ago with a tweet saying that Jennifer had lost her husband.  She is one brave lady. Her post after she lost Mikey was heart breaking. Despite the terrible tragedy, she shared her strength with one and all inviting her readers to bake a peanut butter cream pie to support her.  Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieJenifer’s Mikey loved Peanut Butter Cream Pie and she kept postponing making it for him. Then suddenly one day it was too late.

I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I’m waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie Words cannot express the heartbreak we felt on twitter that day. The poignancy of the moment hung heavy. Then there was a call for International Pie Day in honour of Jennifer Perillo. I couldn’t make peanut butter cream pie as I had no peanut butter or cream cheese at home, but I made a no-bake Upside Down Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie  …  #pieformikey.Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieI had quark and mangoes in the fridge and the BBC Good Food newsletter that had just dropped into my mailbox. It featured Healthy Summer Recipes, and the main picture was an Upside Down Lemon Cheesecake at 185 calories a slice! Healthy? Yes indeed! I adapted the recipe to make my own quark cheese pie for Jennifer! It was delicious!!Coco Take time to enjoy the small things in life… {above photograph taken by my teen}CocoTragedies like these shake you up. We forget to cherish the special moments, take out time, enjoy the small joys … often so caught up in the race of time. Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieDon’t wait for tomorrow to come. Whether its food, family, friends, pups, photography, nature … whatever you like most, breathe it now. Most of us bake or cook for the family, and that feeds our blogs. Let’s get that wish list going, share the love … like this #pieformikey!

 

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