Monday, November 5, 2018

Milk Bar Blondie Pie

Sweetness is something you come to expect from a Christina Tosi recipe. There's no doubt about that. And this blondie pie is no exception. Hoo boy it is SWEET! Can barely even eat a thin slice type of sweet. But! It's not as sweet when you get more of the crust in with a bite, so I think my crust was a little too thin in the bottom versus the sides.


This pie and the crack pie are interesting -- they aren't your traditional type of pie with some kind of specific filling like fruit or nuts. Instead their fillings are kind of...sugar? Basically, you're just eating a sugar pie, is what I'm saying. This here blondie pie does have some added cashews, but they are very, very subtle. You wouldn't know it had cashews unless someone told you, really.


So the question is - did I like this pie? I'm not super sure, to be honest. I probably wouldn't ever make it again, so I guess that's saying something. Do I have a desire to eat it now that it's here and available? Sometimes. It's just a bit too sweet for me, and that's coming from someone with a serious sweet tooth!

I do wonder if making this at home just doesn't translate. In the cookbook, Tosi says that this is her favorite pie, and I can't believe her favorite would be one that's way too sweet. The crack pie is also sweet, but not in the same way. That said, this blondie pie doesn't even seem to be on the Milk Bar menu right now, so maybe others weren't feeling it as much either.


I also overcooked it a little, I think. I wasn't sure whether the middle was done enough, and you can see the edges of my crust got a little burnt. But also, she never uses deep-dish pie tins, and that's pretty much all I have, so the crust went up a bit higher on the sides than it would have otherwise. The middle was still very gooey regardless of whether I actually overcooked it, so I can't really be sure there either.

It's still an interesting pie, for sure! Maybe others would like it more than me, so don't take my feelings as the be-all end-all of it all-all.



Milk Bar Blondie Pie

Christina Tosi's Blondie Pie from the Milk Bar Cookbook.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 recipe (255 g or 1 1/2 cups) Graham Crust (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Blondie Pie Filling (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Cashew Praline (recipe below)
Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Dump the graham crust into a 10-inch pie tin. Press the crust firmly into the tin, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Set side while you work on the rest.
  3. Put the pie tin on a sheet pan and pour in the blondie pie filling. Bake for 30 minutes. It will set slightly in the center and darken in color. Add 3 to 5 minutes more if needed. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Just before serving, cover the top of the pie with the cashew praline.


Graham Crust

Ingredients:
  • 190g (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
  • 20g (1/4 cup) milk powder
  • 25g (2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 3g (3/4 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • 55g (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 55g (1/4 cup) heavy cream
Instructions:

  1. Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The mix should hold its shape when squeeze tightly in the palm of your hand. If it doesn't, melt and additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons) butter and mix it in.
  3. Use as directed above. Extra graham crust can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the fridge or freeze for 1 month. The extra leftovers you can put on top of some ice cream or something?!


Blondie Pie Filling

Ingredients:
  • 160g (5 1/2 ounces) white chocolate
  • 55g (4 Tablespoons) butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g (3 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 105g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 52g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 recipe Cashew Brittle (recipe below)
  • 4g (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
Instructions:

  1. Combine the white chocolate and butter in the microwave-safe bowl and gently melt them on medium, in 30-second increments, stirring between blasts. Once melted, whisk the mixture until smooth.
  2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in heavy cream and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir in the flour, cashew brittle, and salt together in a small bowl, then carefully fold them into the filling. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Cashew Praline

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 recipe Cashew Brittle (recipe below)
  • 20g (2 Tablespoons) grapeseed oil
Instructions:

  1. Grind the brittle with the oil in a food processor until it has completely broken down and almost liquefied. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer for 2 months.


Cashew Brittle

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cashews
Instructions:

  1. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat (parchment won't work here).
  2. Make a dry caramel: Heat the sugar in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the sugar starts to melt, use a heatproof spatula to move it constantly around the pan to melt and caramelize evenly. Cook and stir until the caramel is a deep, dark amber, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Once the caramel has reached that color, remove the pan from the heat and, with the heatproof spatula, stir in the nuts. Make sure they are nice and coated, then dump all of that out onto the prepared pan. Spread out as thin and evenly as possible. The caramel will set into a hard-to-move-around brittle mass in less than a minute, so work fast. Let cool completely.
  4. Either in a food processor, or with a zip top bag and rolling pin, break up the pieces as small as possible to the size of short-grain rice. You can store it in an airtight container for about a month.
Recipe from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook


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