Crack Pie – Re-try

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Crack pie re-try! It turned out beautifully and, true to it’s name, it is as addictive as crack. The first slice I thought, “it’s ok, maybe too sweet.” Then I tried another little sliver and thought, “wow, that’s better then I remember from an hour ago.” Then later last night another sliver and “wow. That’s really freakin’ good.”

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Today it’s basically all I’ve eaten. Thank goodness I only made one.

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It was still slightly warm in the picture above, that’s why it is falling apart. Today it is a little more firm.

So my first attempt at Crack Pie was a Fail. It turned to butter. I’m still not sure exactly where I went wrong, but I think it has something to do with this:

“Pie fillings contain egg yolks, and egg yolks have an enzyme, alpha-amylase, which just loves to gobble up starch. The recipe tells the cook to heat the filling (bring it to a boil) after the yolks are added. But you need to really bring it to a boil to get all of the filling above 170 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the temperature needed to kill alpha-amylase. This is hard to do — the filling is thick and sticking and going blop, blop, blop. But if you don’t get it hot enough, it just takes a few little alpha-amylase to gobble away like Pac-Man — and there goes all the starch that was holding your filling nice and firm.” Food Chemist Shirley Corriher

She said that in response to a question about runny lemon merengue pie, but I think it still applies. Maybe I should check and make sure my oven is heating correctly. It’s kind of old.

Anyway… I tried again, and I used a new recipe which asked for MUCH more time in the oven.In the original recipe I used (This one) the recipe said to bake it for 15 minutes at 350 and then for another 10-20 minutes at 325. The blog author said she added much more time to get it right. I added 30 extra minutes at 325 and it still didn’t work.

This recipe from Epicurious (the one I used this time)says to bake it for 30 minutes at 350 F and then about another 20 minutes at 325 F. So, right away that is a HUGE difference. And guess what? It worked with the Epicurious recipe. (which also didn’t have any flour in the filling, by the way.)

Another thing to note is that on every other picture I’ve seen of this pie it has a brown top and is not custardy looking. Like this:

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So I don’t know what was going on with Averie Cooks Crack Pie, but her pics were very misleading to me.

So, on to the recipe!

Cookie Crust –

Wait, first let me tell you, this crust is a MUST DO in my opinion. Don’t use a graham cracker or other crust. The crust is as much a part of the pie as the filling. In fact the crust almost soaks into the pie giving it some of it’s texture… at least it did for me. I can’t imagine this pie without this cookie crust.

Ingredients:

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  • Non stick vegetable oil spray
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (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

Pre heat oven to 350 F, spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray

Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.

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Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy.

Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.

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Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.

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Turning the cookie into Crust

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Using hands, completely crumble oat cookie into  large bowl; add 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix until evenly moist.

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Press into small pie pan, pressing the sides first and then pressing down the middle.

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Set aside.

The Filling

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  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend.  (I did this in my standing mixer)

Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.

That’s it, that’s your filling. And it should basically look like caramel sauce.

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Pour into prepared crust

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Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer.

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Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight. DO wait until this pie is all the way cooled off, it’s not as good when it’s still warm in the middle.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve cold. Try not to eat the whole pie in 24 hours, or just make two 🙂

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Very good, very high-flavor pie. I enjoy it best in 1 inch slivers every hour or two rather than a full slice all at once. That’s why it is dangerous. You can accidently eat a lot of pie when you only it it one inch at a time. 🙂

Yum.

 

 

 

 

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