Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe

A couple of years ago I had an obsession with cinnamon toast. It started with a trip to San Francisco’s Trouble Coffee. We went for the coffee – which is purported to be some of the best – but all I really remember is the cinnamon toast.

I was pretty hungry that day, so when the girl pulled out a slice of white bread 2 inches thick I was already in love. She liberally slathered on butter and sprinkled, no, doused the toast in cinnamon-sugar. It was heavenly: buttery, crunchy, yet soft, cinnamon-sugary goodness. It was (my idea of) the epitome of cinnamon toast.

Needless to say, after that trip, I made a lot of cinnamon toast at home. Cinnamon and sugar belong together, in all of their incarnations: cinnamon toast, cinnamon buns, snickerdoodles, and cinnamon-sugar doughnuts. Cinnamon and sugar even taste great as the crust of a pie! As part of the Thanksgiving Challenge, Food and Wine featured a Tosi recipe for brown butter custard pie with a cinnamon toast crumb crust.

I skipped out on the cranberry glaze and the white chocolate sweet potato, but the pie didn’t need them – bare, the pie reminded me of a creamy, melty, cinnamon toast ice cream.

Brown Butter Custard Pie with Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe

makes one 4.5 inch springform pie

Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of kosher salt
generous pinch of cinnamon
1 cup diced white bread crusts

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the butter is golden brown, about 8 minutes; strain into a glass measuring cup. Reserve the browned butter solids for the pie filling.
Pour half of the melted butter into a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and bread, and toss. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool.
Pour the remaining butter into a food processor. Add the croutons and pulse to fine crumbs; spoon the crumbs into a 4.5 inch springform and press the crumbs over the bottom and sides; refrigerate the crust until chilled, 15 minutes.

Brown Butter Custard Pie Recipe adapted from Food and Wine

1 teaspoons plain powdered gelatin
Reserved browned butter solids from Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust
1/2 cup whole milk
1/6 cup light brown sugar
2 generous pinches of cinnamon
pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

In a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water and let stand until softened, 3 minutes. Microwave at high power for 10 seconds, until melted. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave the reserved brown butter solids with the milk, sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of salt until warm. Whisk in the gelatin and refrigerate until set.
In a bowl, whisk the heavy cream and sour cream to soft peaks. Whisk the custard to loosen it, then fold into the whipped cream. Pour the custard into the Cinnamon Toast Crumb Crust; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.

24 Comments add yours

  1. Gorgeous, yummy!


    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:32 pm
  2. Would this be a place where using cereal milk makes sense?

    Cinnamon and sugar are one of the best natural combinations. The other warm spices, like those found in masala chai are good compliments to that.

    I think cereal milk would make sense in this pie and it’s practically the same technique, so it would work!

    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
  3. Looks and sounds good… too bad I dont have a 4.5 springform pan… I wish it was for a 8 or 9 inch pan, then I could probably do it without coming up short on filling or crust.
    I know the food and wine one is quite different compared to this one.

    Well, you could just double the recipe, right? Then, you would be able to fill your 9 inch pan.

    Steve on June 7th, 2010 at 11:51 am

    You could follow the Food and Wine recipe and just not do the cranberry glaze and sweet potato ganche, I just halved the recipe so if you follow theirs it should fit into an 8 or 9 inch pan!

    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
  4. oh my goodness. i believe i need this. looks amazing.



    Thanks so much!

    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:38 pm
  5. Wondering why you reduced the Brown Sugar to 1/6 cup(?) from the 1/3 cup called out for in the original. Was the original too sweet?

    The whole recipe is halved.

    steph on June 7th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
  6. Wow! This both looks and sounds delicious!


    Thank you!

    steph on June 9th, 2010 at 9:30 am
  7. Looks stunning, I love the combination of brown sugar and cinnamon…

    Cinnamon and sugar is the best!

    steph on June 9th, 2010 at 9:32 am
  8. this couldn’t possibly be any more divine. thanks for the share!

    No problem, hope you get a chance to make it!

    steph on June 9th, 2010 at 9:32 am
  9. I haven’t seen a dessert that made me drool this much in a while. Fabulous!

    Heehee, it was pretty tasty, especially the crust!

    steph on June 9th, 2010 at 9:35 am
  10. cinnamon toast crust sounds and looks amazing!! What a great dessert!

    Thanks! The cinnamon toast crust was the best part.

    steph on June 16th, 2010 at 12:13 pm
  11. the cinnamon toast crumbs are amazing! i made them last night for a coconut ice cream pie i am a making for sunday…should be excellent!

  12. love it <3
    May i ask, where did you get the Cake stand ? it's beautiful :)

  13. Mine looking nothing like.. the filling was a gorgeous off-white to brownish color which is fine.. but the consistency was not what I expected. Also, I don’t think I realized how small it was and I fit it into a ramekin. :-p I actually have not waited for it to set but it is quite delicious. :D

Add a Comment


Not published (required)

Optional Link