Crack Pie

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 20 people

  • 1 tbsp (firmly packed) light brown sugar
  • 55 gm butter, melted
  •  
  • Oat cookie
  • 115 gm butter, at room temperature
  • 75 gm light brown sugar
  • 40 gm white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80 gm bread flour
  • 120 gm rolled oats
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  •  
  • Crack Pie filling
  • 300 gm white sugar
  • 180 gm light brown sugar
  • 20 gm milk powder
  • 24 gm freeze-dried sweetcorn powder (see note)
  • 225 gm butter, melted
  • 180 ml pouring cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
01   For oat cookie, preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed in an electric mixer until fluffy and pale yellow (2-3 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl. On low speed, add yolk. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until sugar dissolves and mixture is pale (1-2 minutes). On low speed, add flour, oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ½ tsp sea salt. Mix until dough comes together – the dough will be a slightly fluffy, fatty mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl. Spread to 5mm thick on a 25cm x 31cm oven tray buttered and lined with baking paper. The dough won’t cover the tray; this is okay. Bake until caramelised on top, puffed slightly but set firmly (15 minutes), cool completely and break into pieces.
02   Pulse oat cookie, brown sugar and ¼ tsp sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to a bowl, add melted butter and knead until moist enough to form a ball. If it is not moist enough, melt an additional 14gm-25gm butter and knead it in. Divide evenly among two 25cm-diameter pie tins and press firmly into base and up sides. Pie crust will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.
03   For Crack Pie filling, preheat oven to 180C. Beat sugars, milk powder, sweetcorn powder and 1½ tsp sea salt on low speed in an electric mixer until blended. Add butter, beat until dry ingredients are moist (2-3 minutes), add cream and vanilla and beat until streaks from cream disappear (2-3 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl, add yolks and beat to just combine, being careful not to aerate the mixture, but being certain mixture is glossy and homogenous. Divide among pie crusts, filling three-quarters full, and bake until golden brown and very jiggly (15 minutes), then open oven door and reduce oven temperature to 170C (depending on your oven, it may take 5 minutes or longer for the oven to cool to the new temperature; keep pies in oven during this process). When the oven reaches 170C, close door and bake for 5 minutes longer. The pies should still be jiggly in the centre but not around the edges. If the filling is still too jiggly, leave the pies in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or so. Gently remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the cooling by transferring the pies to the refrigerator or freezer if you’re in a hurry.) Then freeze your pies to condense the filling for a dense final product (3 hours-overnight). Freezing is the signature technique of a perfectly executed Crack Pie. If you’re not serving the pies right away, wrap well in plastic wrap. They’ll keep refrigerated for 5 days or in the freezer for a month. Transfer the pies from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw for a minimum of 1 hour before you’re ready to get in there. Serve your Crack Pies cold. Decorate with icing sugar, either passing it through a fine sieve or dispatching pinches with your fingers.

Note Freeze-dried sweetcorn is available online from fresh-as.com. Grind the sweetcorn to a powder in a food processor before using.

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