Sunday, August 29, 2010

Momofuku Crack Pie - (for us XGLUTs)

Hi, my name is Shanks ... and I'm an XGLUT.

What is an XGLUT you ask?
XGLUT is the self-proclaimed-name (patent pending) I call a person whose world is turned upside down through the diagnosis from a blood test. A person who has loved and cherished gluten-based delicacies but is no longer loved back in return. A person who can no longer tolerate a loveless relationship, who takes hold of their life, and divorces (ex or X) the constitution of Gluten (GLUT). A person who is unique and now lives abroad (ex-pat) from the world of gluten.

Well it's not official but I am the chairman, secretary and single honorary member of the XGR, XGLUT Revolution. And to celebrate this occasion ... we're having pie!!

Not just any pie, please. I may be glutenously-disabled but I'm still a foodie and not gluttonously disabled!!

What better than to attempt Momofuku's lengendary Crack Pie, that was named after its addictive qualities which has a jaw-dropping price tag of USD $44 per pie. The legend explodes globally and hit our sunny shores here, here and here (and I'm sure many other sites as well).

To make it gluten free I substituted the crust ingredients using rice cookies made by Arnott's. The pack is labelled with "May contains traces of wheat" but a friend of mine who works in the industry tells me that the machines are shut down and they spend the next 24hrs thoroughly washing out the machines before baking the rice cookies. The alternative is that you can source some gluten-free milled oats and follow the original LA times recipe.

Another tip is to trust the recipe. At one stage during the baking I thought the filling would never set and would just end up burning but it actually sets during the cooling/refrigeration time.

Yaya herself describes it as "Sweet, salty, creamy, crispy, and caramelly - heaven on a plate". I would add chewy, crumbly, gooey, and addictively good. If any of these descriptions are fancied by your taste-buds why not give it a "Crack".

It's been 6 months now and besides a few educational/accidental stumbles, I've been fully gluten free. I can't say I was too rapt to find out that I was intolerant to gluten but have managed to change my lifestyle around it. Fortunately, I don't have serious side effects and can tolerate products labeled with "May contains traces of gluten cereals/wheat" and also processed products such as candy that contain wheat in the glucose (but avoid it anyway).

I'd love to hear from any XGLUTs on tips and recipes, particularly bread recipes ( I still can't find a good gluten free bread recipe), and how you keep it real in a world dominated by gluten.

As chairman of the XGR I send a message out to all my fellow closet XGLUTs ... lay down your delicious breads, pastries, doughnuts, pizza's and pastas and come join the revolution ... There's pie to be eaten!!

NB: Shanks and Yaya's Yum yums do not guarantee the recipe is fully gluten free. Please inform us of any gluten-free mistakes / no-no's that have been made. I'm still learning and ... It's better to teach than to burn at the stake!!

Till next time ... we eat!!


Momofuku Crack Pie - Gluten Free
(Adapted from Almost Bourdain's recipe)

CRUST: Ingredients

  • 2 x packets Arnott's Rice Cookies (1 packet per pie base)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter + little extra to grease the tins
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

: Method
  • Place ingredients in a food processor and blend until fine
  • Lightly grease the sides and base of the tins with butter
  • Press the mixture into a pie tin (10") or spring form tin to form an even layer along the bottom and sides of the tin and set aside while you prepare the filling.
  • Repeat above for the second tin.

FILLING: Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon milk powder
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 prepared crusts
  • Icing sugar to garnish
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder, melted butter, heavy cream and vanilla.
  • Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
  • Divide filling between the two pie tins.
  • Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15mins then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake until filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown, about 15mins.
  • Remove pies from the oven and cool on a rack.
  • Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey.
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.


  1. Sigh, now if only you could make it egg-free! Hehe! I didn't know Arnotts did rice cookies! Thanks for that! btw - no butter in the crumb crust - what holds it together?!

  2. Thanks for your comment, I've been having to experiment a lot with gluten-free recipes myself so hopefully you'll find them helpful. Sorry to hear about your intolerance and here's to many delicious gluten-free goodies!

  3. Thanks for sharing your modifications with us, gluten free or not, this version is still the most addictive dessert I've ever tasted!

  4. Oh my! Be still my beating heart! I must have it NOW (salivating all over keyboard...)
    Great post, love it, thanks for sharing the recipe ... looking forward to more XGLUT posts : )

  5. Such a shame you've become XGLUT (but not gluttony-disabled, very funny!). But as they say about necessity and mothers and invention, your amazing crack pie looks like it will fill the spot.

  6. Oh Shanks, I am not sure how I would cope not having the wonders gluten laden bread in my life. I would adapt yes.

    The pie is an awesome gluten free take (I have shared it on my Belly Rumbles facebook page as I have a few XGLUT friends)

    Glutenously-disabled hehe, nice term.

  7. Wow that crack pie sounds fantastic. I really like the look of yours! :D Is it $44 per pie or $44 per piece of pie?

  8. Congratulations for hitting your 6 month anniversary. We're all cheering for you, especially if you keep these recipes coming. Stick with it XGLUT Commander in Chief!

  9. Hi GB, Could we try it without the egg? Oops, Yes there is butter in the crust - thanks for the pickup.

    Hi Maria, You're site has inspired me to experiment more with gluten free recipes :)

    Hi Yaya, Cheers, here's to many more pies of crack!!

    Hi Alison, Thanks. Hope to hear more foodie adventures from your neck of the woods soon :)

    Hi Belle, Glad you enjoyed my comedic connotations. I miss "real" bread, but yes the pie will fill in the gaps. :)

    Hi Sara, I go bonkers at the smell of fresh bread, but am managing. Thanks for sharing the recipe around - hopes it helps fellow XGLUTs out there.

    Hi Lorraine, Thanks - it actually tastes better than it sounds. Yeah I heard there was an urban legend that it was selling for $44 per piece :D

    Hi Lobo, Thanks mate!! Now stand down soldier and have some pie :)

  10. I would be very sad if I had to go gluten-free. I saw my boss go through it when he was diagnosed Coeliac and he had to avoid all traces. Freedom foods does a good range of gluten-free biscuits if I dont' remember wrong.

  11. Hi Mademoiselle, Thanks for the tip I'll have to look them up. :)