PSYCH-INSPIRED CINNAMON PIE
If you’re craving some cinnamon pie but don’t want to hang out with the unusual patrons of the Sawmill Diner, you’ve come to the right place. While I have zero desire to visit the fictional town of Dual Spires, the cinnamon pie in this episode of Psych— c’mon son.
What kind of cinnamon enthusiast could say no to a slice of that?
This episode of Psych paid homage to another television series, Twin Peaks. I’ve never watched Twin Peaks, so most of the references went over my head. When I read more about this episode online, I was blown away by the sheer number of allusions the writers made.
It probably would have been more fun if I was familiar with Twin Peaks, but I enjoyed the humor in Dual Spires at face value. And the ever-present cinnamon pie definitely didn’t hurt.
From the moment Robert “Bob” Barker suggests “a cup of the best piping hot apple cider this side of the Mississippi and a slice of cinnamon pie so good it may just bring tears”, I was hooked. I had never heard of cinnamon pie but from the way Shawn and Gus devoured slice after slice, I’m sure it was delicious.
And this pie did not disappoint. If you can’t imagine what a cinnamon pie tastes like, it has a texture reminiscent of pumpkin pie. And if you’re a cinnamon enthusiast, I wouldn’t blame you if you were tempted to eat seven slices. However, if you believe in moderation like Shawn, stick to five.
Personally, I prefer a small slice of pie because the creamy cinnamon custard filling is very…filling. (Pun always intended.)
Honestly, it’s so rich that you wouldn’t believe my version is lower in fat than most other cinnamon pie recipes I found. It has less butter, less cream cheese, and 1% milk rather than cream or half-and-half. (I usually use neufchâtel cheese, but you can substitute a low fat or light cream cheese. The 1/3 less fat kind of cream cheese works well.)
It’s also somewhat of a magic layer-forming pie. For reasons yet to be discovered, the custard forms a speckled top layer.
I’m not sure if this is what the Dual Spires pie looks like, but I’m happy with it. The filling tastes like cinnamon, and it looks even prettier with the layers. The mysteries of cinnamon pie.
While this pie can be enjoyed year-round, it has more of an autumn vibe. Hot apple cider, falling leaves, chilly nights, and cinnamon pie.
If the inhabitants of Dual Spires could come up with this winning combination, maybe they aren’t so crazy after all.
PSYCH-INSPIRED CINNAMON PIE
Author: Allspice & Ally
Recipe Type: Dessert
Bake Time:55 minutes
Makes: One 10″ pie
TV Show: Psych, Season 5 Episode 12
Surprisingly, this Psych-inspired cinnamon pie has a creamy cinnamon custard that has a lower fat content than you’d imagine. Never tasted a cinnamon pie? It has a texture reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but it’s packed with flavor that any cinnamon enthusiast would love. Try it with hot apple cider for a perfect fall dessert.
4 oz. neufchâtel cheese or low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup 1% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pie Crust Ingredients
11/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/8 cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup ice water
Pie Crust Instructions
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and sugar.
- Cut in butter and shortening with two forks. There should be no large chunks remaining.
- Drizzle in oil and mix. The dough should resemble a coarse meal.
- Remove ice from water (or alternatively, remove water chilled in the freezer.) Slowly add water in single tablespoon increments and stir until the dough is just combined.
- Using lightly floured hands, first form the dough into a ball and then flatten into a 1-inch disc.
- Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to shape the pie crust. Make sure your dough is large enough to cover a 9 or 10-inch pie dish.
- Gently press the dough into a glass pie plate. (Mine is 25 cm or about nearly 10 inches in diameter.)
- Cook the crust at 350°F for 10 minutes. Optional: Use a crust shield and/or pie weights.
- In a glass bowl, cream neufchâtel cheese and sugar with an electric beater.
- Whisk together eggs and the extra yolk. Beat into the neufchâtel-sugar mixture.
- Add salt, milk ,vanilla extract and melted butter. Beat until combined.
- Sift in cinnamon and flour.
- Strain out any lumps in the mixture for a smoother filling.
- Pour filling into pie shell and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes until the filling sets.
- Cool to room temperature. Serve pie either chilled or slightly warmed, preferably with a dab of whipped cream and a cup of hot cider.
Pairs Well With
* If you don’t have time to make a pie crust from scratch, use premade pie dough. I prefer making homemade pie dough, but my mother always uses store bought.
* Not afraid to go for higher fat content? Substitute an equal amount of half-and-half or whole milk for the 1% milk.
* Looking for an even lower fat content? Substitute the cream cheese for plain non-fat Greek yogurt, use 1 egg plus two yolks, and replace 1/3 cup of the 1% milk with buttermilk. Note that the flavor will be the same. However, the filling will be looser. It’s still good, I just prefer my original version 😊
* To recreate the pie photographed above, top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar. Make the pineapple-shaped garnish by melting semisweet chocolate chips with a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Pipe a graphic pineapple shape on a sheet of wax paper and freeze until hardened.
* Chocolate decorations melt fast on a hot day. Serve quickly and preferably lay the decorations flat on the pie. If the chocolate melts, at least it won’t be droopy! (Note the drooping dual spires and lounging pineapple in the right column of photos below.)