baking

hooked on crack

I realize I’m late to this game. With the much-lamented demise of Gourmet magazine, I don’t readily access food news as much as I used to.  So when waiting for my car to be serviced, I was happy to find a lone Bon Appétit under a pile of car and running magazines.  While casually flipping through it, I suddenly stopped, gasped, and closed the magazine to look around and make sure nobody could see what I was reading. There was a recipe for Christina Tosi’s crack pie printed on the pages of Bon Appétit. Was this possible? Even I, in my non-food-worldliness stranded on the left coast knew about crack pie. It was supposed to be glorious, only one restaurant in one city in the whole world had it, people could hardly describe it, and it was called crack pie! I haven’t been to New York in years and years, could this be my chance to taste what all my NYC food friends were stammering about? Was it even legal to have access to this recipe? I was all a-twitter.

Of course, when I went home and googled the recipe, I found that yes, anyone could make it and yes, everyone already had. To me, this was just encouragement. Nobody I knew at home even knew what I was talking about, so I had to find the right occasion to bring it out and see if the pie’s powers were truly crackalicious on its own unheralded merits.  So when Adam invited everyone over for a 3-course home-cooked Polish meal (how awesome is that, by the way?) and we were to bring dessert – the perfect moment was upon me. I was worried that the pie was a bit homely looking for a dinner party, but it’s actually quite appealing with its humble oaty crust and light powdered sugar veil. The recipe states to serve it cold, which I did. This was jarring, at best. Cold and buttery and PACKED with (3 kinds of) sugar, it wasn’t my favorite of the desserts that day. And yet, other people kept going back to it for another sliver and another (this pie is best served in tiny slivers, it is potent in its impact). With a quarter of pie left, B and I embarked upon a 6 hour drive the next day. I thought to grab the pie and a fork for the road, just in case.  And that, my friends, is when the full essence of the crack pie bloomed. At room-temperature, with pie plate on lap and fork in hand, that sucker was AMAZING. The rich, buttery taste reminds me of the smooth caramel-y filling in pecan pies minus the nuts. It is sweet, really really sweet, but the crispy crumbly and slightly salty oat-cookie crust perfectly offsets the decadent filling.

I get it now: it’s crack. My recommendations: 1) this pie is a project. Start at least a day early to make the cookie, destroy the cookie for the crust, and then make the filling. 2) Chill it for at least overnight. After it came to room temperature from the oven, I chilled it for an entire day, resulting in non-runny filling when served at room temp. 3) Yeah, definitely serve it at room temperature. With a cold glass of milk. I completely agree with Christina Tosi that it is best enjoyed directly from the pie dish.

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