Baking Trials and Tribulations

Hello again! This week I decided to try something a little bit different for my baking adventure. After a business trip to Washington D.C., my boyfriend surprised me by bringing back a DIY Crack Pie mix from the famous Momofuku Milk Bar. For those of you who don’t know about Milk Bar, it is the bakery brain-child of celebrity baker/chef Christina Tosi – you can see her as a judge alongside Chef Gordon Ramsey on Master Chef – and features her unique take on classic desserts.

Needless to say, I was super excited to pull out my apron and see just what this Crack Pie had in store for me!

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Little did I know, that this would be my first exposure to baking gone wrong…

How I Learned My 1st Baking Lesson:

Everything about this process should have been easy and gone smoothly (I even went as far as to think that this was so simple, it was like I was cheating). I gathered my necessary ingredients for the two components:

  • For the Crust:
    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter → *softened!
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Oat cookie crust mix → *provided
  • For the Filling
    • 7 tbsp. unsalted butter → *melted
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • Pie filling mix → *provided

From here, I followed the simple steps outlined on the box starting with…

The Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (or coat with non-stick spray)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with a mixer on low-speed
    • *I elected to mix this part by hand since it was too clumpy to mix with a whisk or electric mixer*

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  • When evenly mixed, spread 1/2″ thick onto your prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes

 

  • Let cool for a couple of minutes and then (while still warm) begin to crumble the oat cookie into a 10 inch “pie dish”
  • Use your fingers to firmly press the crust into place evenly along the bottom and sides of the pie dish
  • Set aside

Upon completing this first process, I noticed that the crust only barely covered the whole 10″ pie dish, however I remained optimistic for the rest of the pie.

The Filling:

  • Keep oven heated to 350°F
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on low-speed to combine all ingredients until smooth

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  • Pour filling into oat crust and bake for 20 minutes

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  • Okay, so the box says that after the 20 minutes at 350°, the pie filling will still be “very jiggly, but golden brown on top”…this was not the case
  • It then instructs that you turn the temp down to 325°F and let bake for 5-10 minutes “until the under baked jiggle” of the pie is set

After initially placing the pie in the oven, I began to observe its progress and noticed it bubbling around the sides and looking especially oily rather than pie-like.

Unwilling to give up – mind you, my boyfriend went our of his way to pick this mix out for me, smuggled it through the TSA who scrutinized the product thoroughly, and traveled with it nearly 3,000 miles – I finished the suggested baking process only to be rewarded with…

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What I learned:

To start, take and bake boxes from chic-designer bakeries should be avoided. But, to be honest, trial and error is crucial to the learning process. Following this disaster, my first course of action was retracing my steps to see where I could have gone wrong. Unfortunately, I realize I had followed the provided directions to a tee, which led me to do some external research:

  • On the 3rd party website here I found reviews on an earlier version of this product where it detailed over more specific instructions. One such specification is that the crust should set for a day before adding the filling to it.
  • Thinking I may have misinterpreted what “pie dish” meant, I looked up what this could mean as recommended by bakers. I used a 9″ glass pie dish, which according to this site, is the most recommended vessel for baking pies.
  • Baking from a mix is tricky in that you should be well versed in what to add/subtract to obtain desired results. If I knew more about how to bake pies, I would have known to let the crust sit and harden for a day prior to filling. Additionally, had I added less butter – basing my judgement on sight rather than simply following the instructions – the filling may have solidified.

All I can say is that this mix most definitely DID NOT work! Better luck next time!

-Lindsay ♥

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