What can I say about this pie that hasn't already been said? One bite and you're hooked. It'll make an addict out of you. Yadda yadda yadda. Thing is, I made this pie out of sheer curiosity.
After attempting to buy a single pie from David Chang's Momufuku Milk Bar online, for $44US, only to be informed they don't ship to Canada, I was nearly perspiring from the sheer torture of not knowing what a $44 pie would taste like. I'm a bit of a food snob. If it costs more, it must taste better, right?
Was it like crack? Was it love at first bite? Did I think about it day and night? Well, no. But it sure was tasty. A marriage of brown sugar, oats eggs, milk powder, vanilla that can create a decadent love child. And yes, everyone who tried it - including me - was momentarily stunned into silence.
I did some online research before baking it and some came to the conclusion that milk powder was the one ingredient that elevated this pie from delicious to divine. Was it? I have no way of knowing, because I made sure to find it at my local grocery store after reading it was a necessary ingredient. And now I have a nearly-full bag of milk powder sitting in my baking cupboard, but that's my problem, isn't it?
If you're also dying of curiosity now, and you live outside the U.S., you should save yourself the cash and whip it up yourself. You can find the recipe here. Like the Momofuku employee who responded to my query told me, it's easy to make.
So what's the big deal? If you ask me, it's likely not the milk powder and the fact that the crust is made of the most decadent, rich, buttery oatmeal cookie. That, for me, makes the pie.
The fact that the buttery, caramel-like pie filling is made of eight yolks doesn't hurt. You heard me right - eight yolks. It's rich. It's very sweet. Don't serve it to those whiners who are going to take one bite, wince at the sugar content, and then ask for an apple. It's wasted on them.
Substitutions: None. I followed this one to the letter.
Would I make this again? Yes, but only for a fellow foodie, die-hard baker, or for someone who knows who David Chang is or what Momofuku is. Because to make it for myself would be craziness. And even I'm not that crazy.
Grade: Four stars out of five. And I hesitate to dock points from this simple, but comforting, childhood memory-evoking, hug-giving pie. The name? Marketing genius. The first bite? Yes, fine, I will bite. It was love at first bite. Hardy har har. But I am docking points because it's not much to look at. Even if you sprinkle powdered sugar on it.
Heck, even if you were to use a stencil. Also -- I know David Chang is the hottest chef on the NYC food scene right now and Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi, the mastermind behind Crack Pie is obviously talented and tuned in but... $44? Really? You're only raising expectations to disappoint them.