Baked Out

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Two Christmases ago, in the height of my weight loss push Russ gave me a cookbook that I opened for one minute and then gave him that, “what were you thinking look.” It is a book called Milk from the great New York Bakery the Momofuku Milk Bar. In it are the most intricate recipes for really interesting sweets. I could hardly look at the pictures without gaining weight.


I put the book on my shelf and promised that someday I would make something from it. Well that day came today. My father tasked me with bringing the desserts for Thanksgiving. The last couple of years I have made one healthy crust less pumpkin pie along with the regular Thanksgiving feast pies. No one but me would eat it so this year I gave up.


Carter wanted to make a cake. In the Milk book was a cake I was dying for her to make called an Apple Pie cake. In involved making cake, apple pie filling, crust crumbles, a liquid cheesecake filling, cider glaze and frosting. Before she even looked at the picture she told me her friend Cait, who is one of our guest said not fruit with her cake. I don’t think she knew fruitcake could be like this, but Carter voted to make a devils food cake with butter cream frosting. It turned out quite cute and will be easy for me to forgo.


That left me looking through the Milk book at pies. The very last recipe in the whole book is for something they have trademarked called Crack Pie™. The description is for a pie that tastes like the inside of a pecan pie without the nuts. Following the four pages of instructions is a note, you can add pecans if you want to guild the lily.


That sealed the deal. So I spent the better part of today: baking the giant oatmeal cookie that then gets crumbled up to be the crust, going back to Whole Foods, after I had already shopped there yesterday vowing not to have to return on the day before T-day to buy freeze-dried corn, that I pulverized for the filling, and making the filling and baking the pie. I am taking a big risk by only bringing these two pies for dessert. Yes I have Carter’s cake, which is very non-traditional, but what if these pies are horrible?


Maybe that would be a good thing. I have a feeling that it might be the best pie I have eaten and I don’t need to have more than a hair wide sliver. The best part of making this very complicated dessert is it has satisfied my need to bake for the rest of the year. I might have dodged a Christmas cookie bullet by blowing my whole baking wad on two Thanksgiving pies.


I followed up the baking with daylong cooking of stewed tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprout and pearl onion gratin and a boatload of fresh cranberry sauce. I’m ready for turkey day. Now if I can just find room in my refrigerator for it all.

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