Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Momofuku's pastry chef, Christina Tosi, stops by!

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Image credit: New York Serious Eats

If you're a New Yorker and you haven't heard of David Chang's Momofuku restaurants-- well, you might be living under a rock. But for those of our listeners who don't live in the Big Apple and haven't heard of the delights to be found at David Chang's restaurants, we at Morning Living wanted to share a little piece of the restaurants with you! Christina Tosi is the pastry chef for the Momofuku restaurants, and has gained much acclaim for the inventive desserts she's dreamed up while working there. Check out her most famous pie recipe below!

Crack Pie™

Oat Cookie for Crust

½ cup butter, room temp
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 T. sugar
1  egg, large
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon AP flour
Scant 1 cup rolled oats
Scant 1/8 t. baking powder
Scant 1/8 t. baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Heat your oven to 350F.

2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

3. On a lower speed, add egg to incorporate.  Increase the speed back up to a medium high for 1-2 minutes until the sugar granules fully dissolve and the mixture is a pale white color.

4. On a lower speed, add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix 60-75 sec until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Your dough will still be a slightly fluffy, butter fatty mixture in comparison to your average cookie dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

5. Pam spray and line a ¼ sheet pan with parchment or a silpat and using a spatula, evenly spread the entire contents of your mixing bowl into the sheet pan ½ inch thick. Your oat cookie will not cover the entire ¼ sheet pan, don’t freak out.

6. When the oven reads 350F, transfer the ¼ sheetpan of oat cookie dough to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. While in the oven, the oat cookie will spread into a bar cookie.

7. At 15 minutes, the oat cookie bar toast lightly on top, but will still be soft and moist in the center, not crispy or crunchy.

8. Cool the oat cookie in the pan on a rack until it is cool to the touch.

Oat Crust
Yield: two 10” pie crusts

All oat cookie from above
¼ cup butter
1 1/2 T. light brown sugar
1/8 t. salt

1. In a microwave, gently melt your butter on a med/low setting for 15-30 seconds. Make sure it is not hot to the touch.

2. In a food processor, pulse the oat cookie until  it is sandy and the oat cookie structure is nearly broken down, including the oats.

3. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use your hands, but your crust will never become the dense, fudgy texture of ours as the oats will always hold a less dense, cookie-like crust.

4. Transfer the processed, sandy oat cookie to a bowl and with your hands, toss the sugar and salt with the crumbs creating a homogeneous mixture. With your hands pour in the melted butter and knead the ground cookie until it is a very moist sandy texture. It should be moist enough to knead into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so melt and additional 15-25g of butter and knead in.

5. Divide the oat crust evenly over two 10” pie tins (two pies is always better than one).

6. With your fingers and the palm of your hand, press the oat crust firmly into the pie tin. Make sure the bottom as well as the walls of the pie tin are evenly covered with oat crust and no part of the pie tin is visible.

7. Transfer pie crusts to a ½ sheet pan.

8. Prepare filling.

Filling for Crack Pie
Yield: two 10” pies

1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup plus 1 t. nonfat milk powder
3/4 cup plus 1 T. heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
10x for dusting

1. Heat the oven to 350F

2. In a microwave, gently melt your butter on a med/low setting for 45-60 seconds. Make sure it is not hot to the touch.

3. In a large, dry bowl, whisk together sugars, salt and milk powder until all the dry ingredients are evenly distributed. If you try to mix the crack pie filling in a mixer with a whisk attachment, you will incorporate too much air in the following steps and your pie will not be dense an gooey- the essence of the crack pie.

4. Add the melted butter to the bowl and whisk until all the dry ingredients are moist.

5. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and whisk until the white from the cream has completely disappeared into the mixture.

6. Add the egg yolks and gently whisk in the egg yolks just to combine. Be careful not to aerate the mixture.

7. With a rubber spatula, evenly divide the filling into the oat crusts on the ½ sheet pan. The filling should fill the crusts ¾ way full.

8. When the oven reads 350F transfer the ½ sheet pan of crack pie to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. During this time, the crack pie will still be very jiggly, but should become golden brown on top. Know your oven, which corners bake your cookies or pies lighter or darker and take these nooks into consideration when placing your pies in the oven—use the shelf and corners that brown your baked goods best.

9. At 20 minutes, open the oven door and reduce the baking temperature to 325F Depending on your oven this will take 5-10 minutes—keep the pies in the oven during this process. When the oven reads 325F, close the door and finish baking the crack pie for 5 minutes.

10. At 5 minutes, the crack pie should still be jiggly in the bulls eye center, but not in the outer center circle. If the crack pie is still too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven an additional 5 minutes in the 325F oven.

11. Gently take the ½ sheetpan of crack pies out of the oven and transfer to a rack to cool at room temperature. You can speed up the cooling process by carefully transferring the pies to the fridge or freezer if you’re in a hurry.

12. Freeze your pie overnight to condense the filling for a dense final product—the signature of a perfectly executed crack pie—difference between chess pie…

13. Decorate your pies with 10x through a fine sieve or the pinch of your fingers.

14. We serve our crack pie cold! Wrap crack pies if you are not serving them right away.

15. In the fridge, crack pies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, crack pies will keep fresh one month.

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