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.