So, another Pi Day (3/14, get it?) has come and gone, and the culinary world was abuzz with recipes for the traditional Pi Day food…pie!
The one I chose to make, Cinnamon Pie, was not one of the recipes I heard anyone talking about; in fact, the only reason that I knew it was even a kind of pie is because of the TV series Psych. In the episode “Dual Spires”, the main characters go to a cinnamon festival in the titular town. Instead of the local diner there specializing in coffee and cherry pie (as it did in Twin Peaks, which the episode parodied), they served up hot apple cider and cinnamon pie.
Not having ever heard of that kind of pie before, I decided to look it up. Sure enough, there are a few different recipes for it around the web. However, I can’t seem to find any history on the dish. Most posted recipes mention that they were passed down through a relative, but that’s all the information I can really muster up. My cursory guess is that it’s of Southern origin, but it’s completely a shot in the dark.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on the dish.
Other than Pecan Pie, this has to have been one of the easiest pies I have ever made. Pie isn’t generally a complicated dish to begin with, but this has very few ingredients and shouldn’t require a special trip to the store if you have a decently stocked pantry. If you want to elevate the dish a bit, you can always get “true cinnamon” instead of cassia, which is what is commonly sold as cinnamon here in the US, but it isn’t strictly necessary. I used dollar-store cassia, and it didn’t seem to hurt the pie any.
However, that doesn’t mean that the pie was without its problems. From everything I’ve read, cinnamon pie is supposed to be a layered pie, with a cinnamon-sugar “crust” over the top and a custard layer underneath. I don’t think the recipe I used had enough eggs to make a proper custard, and the bottom layer came out kind of watery. Despite this, everyone seemed to really enjoy the pie, with two people I served it to loving it despite not liking pie in general. I’ll probably try making this again in the future, but it’s likely I’ll use a different recipe.