Friday, June 27, 2014

Daring Bakers! - Cinnamon Bun Pie

Hello, dear readers. Yesterday...I cried in the car. My friends are scattering all over the country, including my best friend of the past four years, who left for California yesterday. So I'm sad, understandably, right? I don't like change, and proximity is honestly such a huge factor in maintaining relationships of any kind. Things are just easier when you're closer together. And for some people, long distance friendships aren't worth the effort. At least, that's what I'm afraid of. I fear that my meaningful relationships will wither away into husks of what they were. 

People say there are certain kind of relationship where you can go without speaking for years, then pick things right up from where they left off last time you saw each other. That may be true, but I hate the idea, because regular, frequent communication is incredibly important to me. Maybe I'm just saying that because I've never experienced such a relationship as the one described above. Things change, things change all the time, and there's nothing I can do to stop that. I just hope that the people who matter to me stay in my life. 

So, uh...let's talk about this food business. The Daring Bakers theme this month was cinnamon rolls, but since I've already blogged about cinnamon rolls, I decided to go with my baker crush, Christina Tosi, and make her Cinnamon Bun Pie. It's not the prettiest, but it's crazy good. Can't go wrong with Liquid Cheesecake. Anyway, enjoy it. And if you have any insights about friendships and relationships, I'd love to hear about them. 

Dinosaurs love cinnamon. Truefacts.

This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!

Cinnamon Bun Pie 
 (All ingredients are in cups and grams, so choose what you prefer)

1 recipe mother dough (recipe below), proofed
30 g flour, for dusting 3 tablespoons
80 g brown butter ¼ cup
1 recipe liquid cheesecake (below)
60 g light brown sugar ¼ cup, packed
1 g kosher salt ¼ teaspoon
2 g ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
1 recipe cinnamon streusel (below)

1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Punch down and flatten the mother dough.
3. Take a pinch of flour and throw it across the surface of a smooth dry countertop to lightly coat the counter. Take another pinch of flour and lightly dust a rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to flatten the punched-down circle of dough, then roll out the dough with the rolling pin or stretch the dough out by hand as if you were making a pizza from scratch. Your end goal is to create a large circle that is approximately 11 inches in diameter. Keep your 10-inch pie tin nearby tor reference. The 11-inch dough round should be ¼ to ½ inch thick.
4. Gently place the dough in the pie tin. Alternate between using your fingers and palms of your hands to press the dough firmly into place. Put the pie tin on a sheet pan.
5. Use the back of a spoon to spread halt of the brown butter in an even layer over the dough.
6. Use the back of another spoon (you don’t want brown butter in your creamy white cheesecake layer!) to spread half the liquid cheesecake in an even layer over the brown butter. Spread the remaining brown butter in an even layer over the liquid cheesecake.
7. Scatter the brown sugar on top of the brown butter. Tamp it down with the back of your hand to help keep it in place. Then sprinkle evenly with the salt and cinnamon.
8. Now for the trickiest layer: The remaining liquid cheesecake. Stay cool, and spread it as gently as you can to achieve the most even layer possible.
9. Sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the cheesecake layer. Use the back of your hand to secure the streusel.
10. Bake the pie tor 40 minutes. The crust will puff and brown, the liquid cheesecake will set firm, and the streusel topping will crunch up and brown. After 40 minutes, gently shake the pan. The center of the pie should be slightly jiggly. The filing should be set toward the outer boundaries of the pie tin. If some of the filing erupted onto the sheet pan below, don't worry – consider it a snack tor later. It necessary, bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the pie meets the description above.
11. Cool the pie on a wire rack. To store, cool the pie completely and wrap well in plastic wrap. In the fridge, the pie will keep fresh tor 3 days (the crust gets stale quickly); in the freezer, it will keep tor 1 month.
12. When you are ready to serve the pie, know that it's best served warm! Slice and microwave each slice on high for 30 seconds, or warm the whole pie in a 250°F oven for 10 to 20 minutes, then slice and serve.

Mother Dough
makes about 850 g (2 pounds)

550 g flour 3½ cups
12 g kosher salt 1 tablespoon
3.5 g active dry yeast ½ packet or 1 1/8 teaspoons
370 g water, at room temperature 1¾ cups
grapeseed oil

1. Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer—do it by hand, using the dough hook like a spoon. Continue stirring by hand as you add the water, mixing for 1 minute, until the mixture has come together into a shaggy mass.
2. Engage the bowl and hook and have the machine mix the dough on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, or until the ball of dough is smoother and more cohesive. Then knead for 4 more minutes on the lowest speed. The dough should look like a wet ball and should bounce back softly when prodded.
3. Brush a large bowl with oil and dump the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Liquid Cheesecake
makes about 325 g (1 ½ cup)

225g cream cheese 8 ounces
150 g sugar ¾ cup
6g cornstarch 1 tablespoon
2g kosher salt ½ teaspoon
25 g milk 2 tablespoons
1 egg

1. Heat the oven to 300°F.
2. Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the sugar and mix for 2 minutes until the sugar has been completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Whisk together the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream. Then whisk in the egg until the slurry is homogenous.
4. With the mixer on medium-low speed, stream in the egg slurry and paddle for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and loose. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Line the bottom and sides of a 6 x 6-inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Pour the batter into the pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Gently shake the pan. The cheesecake should be firmer and more set toward the outer boundaries of the pan but still be jiggly and loose in the dead center. If the cheesecake is jiggly all over, give it 5 minutes more. And 5 minutes more if it needs it, but it’s never taken me more than 25 minutes to underbake one. If the cheesecake rises more than ¼ inch or begins to brown, take it out of the oven immediately.
6. Cool the liquid cheesecake completely, to finish the baking process and allow the cheesecake to set. The final product will resemble a cheesecake, but it will be pipeable and pliable enough to easily spread or smear, while still having body and volume. Once cool, the cheesecake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Refrigerate before using in the cinnamon bun pie!

Cinnamon Streusel
makes about 120 g (2/3 cup)

40 g flour ¼ cup
20 g old-fashioned rolled oats ¼ cup
2g ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
1 g kosher salt ¼ teaspoon
30 g light brown sugar 2 tablespoons
25 g butter, melted 2 tablespoon
0.5 g vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon salt and brown sugar with a spoon or spatula. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla and toss until almond-size dark oat clusters form.
2. If you’re making the pie the same day, the streusel can wait out on the counter. If you’re making the streusel in advance, transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Aww, I'm sorry to hear about the changes going on and the distance between you and your friends. If it makes you feel any better, I do have some friends that we lost touch for long periods of time and, despite time, miles and life changes, when we met up again, things were just as fun and we truly get along just as well! I hope it is the same for you.
    And, that aside, I have never seen cinnamon bun pie, but now I can't wait to try it! It truly looks delicious, and I'm glad that this gave you an opportunity to put a new twist on something you were already comfortable with! Thanks for baking with me this month!

    1. It's okay, I appreciate your kindness :) Thanks for hosting this month!

  2. I'm sorry about your friend moving away :( I suck at maintaining friendships lol, haven't seen my high school friends in years. But at least you had the pie! It looks so scrumptious.


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