Crack Pie

When my family recently hosted an impromptu dinner party and I was in charge of the dessert, crack pie was a great choice because it delivered as both an interesting conversation starter and as a well-received dessert. Crack Pie is one of the destination desserts that people have to order upon arriving at momofuku milkbar. At $44/pie (according to their website), this sweet disc of ooey-gooey, oaty, crunchy, and salty harmony is surprisingly easy to make.

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Summer Plum Tart

Some of my sweetest childhood memories at my grandmother’s old house involve consuming endless amounts of dark purple plums. The satisfying tearing of the firm, dusky skin to reveal vibrant, vermilion flesh is a unique fruit-eating experience. My fingers and palms would be stained red from the juices, yet still I reached out for another perfect little plum in the fruit basket. Every summer, this would be a little tradition, until the house became too much for my grandmother to maintain and it was sold to new owners.

As much as I would love to have the plum tree again, my parents’ lack of success with gardening points to the impossibility of that aspiration. Instead, more than ever, I realize how much the past is so crucial to the present and future development of someone’s appreciations and tastes for food. This irregular, unfinished-looking (aka rustic) summer plum tart is a delicious homage to foodie childhoods. The crisp, all-butter crust and richly gooey plum filling make this dessert perfect for warm evenings with someone special. Served with a healthy portion of nostalgia.

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Apple Pie

Pie is complicated. Pie is vengeful. Pie is scary. Whoever came up with the phrase “easy as pie” must have had a mean streak. My first attempt at making pie was Martha Stewart’s ill-fated apple and blackberry pie. Perhaps it was my lack of confidence from the beginning (I didn’t even bother photographing each step) and that I kind of knew deep down that using Fuji apples instead of Granny Smith would be  disastrous. But this time, I was determined to triumph. Despite the shallowness of the pie dish I randomly chose (I didn’t know pie dishes came in different depths, thanks Mom) this apple pie has such a deep, satisfying flavor and the kind of perky spiciness that spreads from the tip of your tongue to tickle the back of your throat.

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