I admit, my faith was challenged.
While this pie (and its custardy cousins) were in the oven, I doubted Tosi’s recipe writing and my history with gluten and dairy free adaptations.
Problem: the original recipe called for heavy cream. I substituted with coconut milk, which was much more watery in the can than others I’ve opened, and realized I should have tossed in yet another yolk.
Problem: it’s a holiday weekend and I had been home for mere hours, with a laundry list of to-do’s. Do-overs were not possible.
Problem: the original recipes includes milk powder and… um… I’m allergic to milk (save for butter, which has so little protein in it I can get away now and then with using it).
So I adapted and altered and doubted and gave up… then wanted to smack myself.
I have no idea how Crack Pie is supposed to taste… but I could see how my variation could take that title.
If you’re diabetic or hypoglycemic… stop reading right now.
If you’re neither, get ready for a super-sweet, gooey, rich pie that will have you shivering in your shoes. The chewy, gooeyness is so good you might want to smack something, too. It’s got a smoky brown sugar center with an undercurrent of oat cookie. This version definitely isn’t as custardy as my Milk Bar Monday cohorts’, but I’m still addicted, so much so that I’ll have to attempt again sometime and adapt a bit more with what I know about dairy-free custarding. But for something almost caramely in texture, make this. And make sure to have someone to give a lot of it to, lest you end up in a sugar-coma.
Happy Milk Bar Mondays, folks.
And, Ms. Tosi… sorry for ever doubting you.
Meet the Ladies of Milk Bar Mondays!
Meagan of Scarletta Bakes (go to her site for the original recipe)
Erin of Big Fat Baker
Cassie of Bake Your Day
Audra of The Baker Chick
Nicole of Sweet Peony
Krissy of Krissy’s Creations
Averie of Averie Cooks
Gluten-Free Crack Pie (Dairy Optional)
- 1 recipe Oat Cookie (recipe follows)
- 15g / 1 Tbsp tightly packed brown sugar
- 1g / 1/4 tsp salt
- 55g / 4Tbsp butter, melted, plus more if needed
- 1 recipe Crack Pie Filling (recipe follows)
Assembling the Pie
- Heat oven to 350°
- Put the cookie, brown sugar and salt into a food processor and grind to a grainy powder.
- Put crumbs into a bowl and add butter. With your hands, knead into a ball. If it’s falling apart, add a bit more melted butter. Because of the gluten-free aspect, my version wasn’t totally tacky – it’s okay. Just make sure the majority of the recipe pulls together.
- Divide the crust into the two pie plates, pressing with your hands to spread the mixture evenly. I actually used one pie plate and then divided the rest amongst a few ramekins, as my recipe didn’t look like it was going to make two compete pies. Result? I had awesome little single-portions at the ready!
- Put pie shells / ramekins on a cookie sheet. Fill with pie filling to about 3/4 way full.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 325° and bake until the center is jiggly but the sides are set. This took me much longer than the original recipe called for, I think because of the lower level of fat since I used thin coconut milk instead of heavy cream… use your judgment.
- Cool completely, then freeze for 6 hours or overnight to get the filling to be perfectly chewy, creamy and crack-pie-y.
- 115g / 8Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used butter-flavored Earth Balance)
- 75g / 1/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 40g / 3Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 80g flour / 1/2 cup (I used my hodge-podge gluten-free bin for this… with cookies I find it doesn’t matter all too much in such a circumstance)
- 120g / 1.5 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- .5g / 1/8 tsp baking powder
- .25g / pinch of baking soda
- 2g / .5 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Combine the sugars and butter / Earth Balance in the bowl of standing mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium/high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and yellow. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed to low and add the egg yolk. Increase to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes, until the egg is fully incorporated and the mixture is pale.
- On low speed, add all the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Spray a quarter sheet pan with cooking spray and fit with parchment. With your hands, spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is soft but the edges are set and crispy.
- Cool completely before making into crust.
Crack Pie Filling
- 300g / 1.5 cups white sugar
- 180g / 3/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 30g / 1/3 cup corn powder (get freeze-dried corn and crush it into a fine powder in a food processor)
- 6g kosher salt / 1.5 tsp
- 225g / 2 sticks melted butter
- 160g / 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2g / 1.2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks (separate these with your fingers instead of with egg shells – you don’t want any egg white to get into this mixture!)
- Combine the sugar, brown sugar, corn powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment and paddle on low until evenly dispersed.
- Add the melted butter and mix on low until the dry ingredients are nice and evenly wet.
- Add the coconut milk and vanilla and paddle on low for about 2 minutes until no signs of coconut milk remain.
- Add the egg yolks and mix on low until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Keep the mixer on low so that now air gets into the batter, but make sure the mixture gets silky smooth.