This is usually when I get myself into trouble, wandering the WWW for all sorts of unnecessary, but extremely tempting things like waterproof, washable seat covers for food-stained dining room chairs. Sounds great, right? Sure, except they do not fit our dining room chairs. Evidently, it is just safer to stay offline and grab a magazine.
Bon Appétit is like Playboy for foodies. Sure, the writing is really good, but, in all honesty, it’s the photos that grab and hold my attention, like the sight of something crackly, crumbly, giving way to the prongs of a fork. This temptation hails from a hip bakery in the Big Apple called Milk Bar featured in the very issue of the magazine I happened to be reading. One bite, perhaps sniff even, of this stuff and you will know how it rightfully earned the name Crack Pie. Unfortunately, it is a two-step process to make, first one big oat cookie, then a pie with a luscious sugar pie filling and the oat cookie as the crust. The cooling process is also lengthy. Crack Pie will test your patience, but prove well worth the wait, if you can wait.
There are several great shortcuts to the crust portion of the original recipe. Skip the first step of making the oat cookie, then blind-baking the crust and just get some cookies from the market. While I don’t normally condone the use of store-bought anything, here, I make an exception. Life is too short for a long-winded recipe. Get out there and grab your favourite brand of oatmeal cookies. If you cannot find oatmeal cookies that you like, graham crackers do just fine. For a quicker homemade solution, pulse rolled oats to a flour consistency and follow my recipe. My crust is actually based on my mom’s recipe for her famous cheesecake. It is the best part of the cheesecake and adapts beautifully to this recipe.
Sugar is a remarkable element, but working with it requires some experience. The long cooling process of this recipe is as important, if not more important, than the baking process. So a bit of planning will have a decadent breakfast ready for you to enjoy in the morning. Who says you can’t have pie for breakfast?
Note: This recipe produces an irresistibly addictive end product. You have been warned.
Adapted from BonAppetit
3/4 cup ground oatmeal
1/2 stick butter
5 Tb sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 pinches salt
1 stick butter, @ room temp
4 large free-range egg yolks
6 Tb heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Butter a shallow 9-inch round pie or cake pan.
Blitz rolled oats in a food processor to a fine powder consistency.
Add butter, sugar and salt.
Pulse a few times until a dough forms.
Gently press dough evenly into the pie/cake pan.Preheat oven to 350*F.
Blitz filling ingredients in the food processor until smooth.
Pour over crust and transfer to the hot oven.
Bake 15-20 minutes.
Cool to room temperature (about 2 hours), then transfer to the fridge and chill, uncovered, preferably overnight, if you can wait that long.
If you can’t wait (neither could I), just let the pie rest at room temp for 15 minutes, then pop it into the freezer for another 15 minutes. We have the technology, after all. Why not use it?
It was another one of my favorite lazy weekend mornings spent over coffee in our breakfast nook. The Beatles crooned in the background while Shawn worked diligently on one of those rubber-band loom bracelets that he had hoped would keep our li’l blue-eyed beauty occupied. I was focused on making a cotton-blossom wreath for my friend’s birthday while Daisy played doctor to Lucy, her sniffly toy puppy.
I can’t remember whether it was Saturday or Sunday. The only thing that remains sharp in my memory is the aroma of sweet vanilla sugar, the softness of the gooey filling with the crackly top and the toasty crunch of that cookie crust. Thank goodness baking Crack Pie is perfectly legal, because it sure tastes like home.