May 2012

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie


I refused to try Momofuku Milk Bar‘s famous Crack Pie for the longest time because I absolutely loath the trend of likening delicious foods to drug addiction. Illegal substances are serious. Dessert is not.

I guess you could say I cracked a few years ago when Renee Lynch of the Los Angeles Times prepared two stunning specimens for the Eat My Blog bake sale. Since the proceeds from the pies benefited the L.A. Regional Foodbank, I let go of my irrational stance and finally indulged in Chef Christina Tosi‘s Momo-fied take on southern Chess Pie. I’ll do anything for a good cause, wink wink.

This Vietnamese-twist on Crack Pie is still as ooey gooey, buttery, and sugary as the original, but slightly more complex due to a shot of dark and bitter espresso. There’s also a generous pour of sweetened condensed milk in the filling that really makes the entire package taste like a tall glass of cà phê sữa đá.

This recipe, which is a combination of crust by the Los Angeles Times and filling by Javaholic, makes two whole Crack Pies. While this might seem like too much of a good thing, you really can’t go wrong. Everyone loves Crack Pie.

Cookie for crust

  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 egg

For crust

  • Crumbled cookie for crust
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

For filling

  • 14 tablespoons light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons milk powder
  • 1 cup (2 stick) melted butter
  • 1/2 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Make cookie crust

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust. This makes enough for two crusts.

Make crust

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together).

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

Make filling

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, salt, milk powder, butter, espresso, and sweetened condensed milk until you have a fairly homogenous mixture.  Gently whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla without whisking in too much air.

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 15-20 minutes.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil if the top browns too quickly. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

Refrigerate the cooled pie until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie | Banh "Crack" Ca Phe Sua

Makes 2 Crack Pies and serves 16.

Recipe for crust by the Los Angeles Times and filling by Javaholic. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]

More pie and tart recipes on Gastronomy:

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9 thoughts on “Vietnamese Coffee Crack Pie

  1. ooooo this is my kind of twist… with a shot of the java juice. I guess, you have really added “drugs” to this now using the last legal drug on the market… coffee.

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