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Feb 7, 2012 05:52 AM

Crack Pie recipe is a LIE

Now I know that many cookbook authors/chefs "fudge" (read: LIE about) their recipes a little so they don't give away their most prized secrets, but this is ridiculous. I have tried to make the Crack Pie recipe in the "Milk" cookbook several times (with detailed precision and strict adherence to the recipe) and it never comes out with the texture of the REAL Crack Pie.

I have scoured the Internet and read every comment of anyone who has posted to websites and claimed they have tried this recipe. Most of the bakers say it has to bake at least twice as long as the recipe says, it needs this, it needs that. Basically that the recipe is a lie. The people who say the recipe does work, well, I don't know how many of these people have actually tasted the REAL Crack Pie, but the real pie is NOT LIKE PECAN PIE, NOT GOOEY, NOT CARAMELLY, NOT RUNNY, NEVER LIKE CUSTARD. It is served in chilled wedges and is extremely dense, which means it has the texture of a chilled blondie (minus the chocolate) or maybe even chilled fudge. It is so dense that you could drop the wedge of pie on the floor and it would stay nearly intact.

Has anyone here made the cookbook recipe or any other CP recipe and achieved the same result as what Milk Bar sells?

Next I am thinking of adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour to the filling to see whether that is what Christina Tosi lied about.

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  1. my "freeze dried corn" is still on order...(can I substitute fritos?!)...haven't made it yet. I am not surprised chefs leave stuff out, or are casual about weights/measures. I gotta believe that commercial equipment plays a bit of a role too. Christina Tosi, do you care to comment?!!

    1. Did you really find the real thing worth replicating? I lived next to the Milk bar for several years and still don't get all the fuss. I had one good soft serve but tried a least 10 that weren't so hot. Never went for the pie, though. Is it the one thing that makes the place noteworthy?

      2 Replies
      1. re: chinaplate

        I am so with you! I absolutely do NOT get the fuss! Crack pie and compost cookies just leave me shaking my head in wonder. If you want to replicate something why not work on the Levain CCC, or something from Baked? I know “different strokes" but the Milk Bar sweets/desserts ? I don't get it ;-)

        1. re: lockedhalo

          Baked is great. Milk Bar not. Everything I've tried at Milk Bar (crack pie, cookies, grashopper) have been gross. They have a crackerjack marketing team, every time I see a Christina Tosi article it raises my hackles because the food is so mediocre yet it's so hyped.

      2. When is the last time you sampled the crack pie?

        I noticed a lot of the Milk Bar products changed around the time of the cookbook, and manufacturing move to Brooklyn so that their baked goods taste more "standard". Prior to that, there was a fair amount of fluctuation in what the shop sold from visit to visit. They're using less sugar and salt, perhaps listening to common complaints. Even the cookies are more cookie like, and they've done away with the lump in the center. The pies no longer look dense with that cookie/blondie texture, but they shouldn't be runny or caramel/mollases in style either. I don't know the recipe (and honestly, I fall into the camp that can't imagine wanting to replicate it at home) but cutting the eggs so it's less custardy, and wet ingredients, then adding sugar would be my wild first guess.

        1. There's a recent discussion of the Crack Pie recipe right here on home cooking, with 137 replies. Perhaps it will offer some enlightenment, here's the link:

          1 Reply
          1. re: janniecooks

            Yeah I am aware of that discussion and it seems like no one's been able to replicate it/fix the inaccurate recipe.

            I was in NYC in December and had the pie then.

          2. Wow! Didn't know a recipe could foment such hostility!

            Is the recipe you're using the same as this?
            Perhaps it is a different quality or brand of ingredients? Professional oven or refrigerator temperature? Baking experience? Subtle difference in technique?

            I can use my step mom's Hollandaise sauce to the letter and hers turns out way better than mine, every single time. Just one of those things. Perhaps you need to only eat the pie in NYC?

            1 Reply
            1. re: gourmanda

              also wouldn't be the first time there were errors and/or poor editing in a cookbook.