Did you know March 14 is Pi Day? As in it's 3.14, both in date and as pi. So we must make pie for Pi Day. Last year I made an apple pie for National Pie Month but for Pi Day I was looking for something a little different. Thanks to the internet, different isn't hard to find. One of the things I love about getting inspiration from other foodie bloggers and pinterest is seeing creations I would never have thought up myself. I'm good about searching out recipes, making them, and tweaking them to my liking. I have a harder time coming up with original ideas. Good thing here are others much more creative than I am. Case in point, who would've thought of a Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Pie? Fortunately, Dorothy of Crazy for Crust did. It's a pie with a cinnamon roll crust filled with a coffee cake and topped with streusel.
|The flattened cinnamon roll dough serves as the pie crust|
|Fill with the coffeecake batter as the pie filling|
|Top with the streusel topping|
I was intrigued by this pie. I normally think of pies like apple, pecan, lemon meringue with a pie crust and "normal" filling. But who's to say this can't be a pie too? So I made it in honor of Pi Day. Instead of 1 big pie, however, I made it into 4 mini pies. The can of cinnamon roll dough only extended to covering 3 mini pies fully and there was just enough for a bottom crust for the 4th mini pie. I probably should've flattened them more but the dough was getting stretchy and I was afraid overhandling it would make it tough (turns out I was right).
The coffeecake itself was really good. For the streusel, I used a trick I learned from a Martha Stewart or Lisa Yockelson recipe (can't remember which) and that's to squeeze the streusel into clumps and leave big pieces as part of the streusel topping. It crisps up in baking and adds texture versus leaving it as loose bits that only add sweetness. I have to confess though, I ended up not liking the cinnamon roll crust as much as I thought I would. I think it's because it's a commercially made product (insert snobby taste buds here) and it would've been better with made-from-scratch cinnamon roll dough. And because I didn't flatten the cinnamon roll dough into a thinner crust, when it baked, it made for a thicker crust that was more bread-y than cinnamon-y. I still liked the pie, especially the coffeecake part but I would make this with either normal pie dough or scratch cinnamon roll dough. Either way, it's a nicely original tribute to Pi Day.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour + 2 tablespoons, divided
1 can (8 count) cinnamon rolls with icing
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. (I used a 10” pie plate.)
- Stir together sugar, oil, egg and milk in a large bowl. Add baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour, and stir until no lumps remain. Set aside.
- Open can of cinnamon rolls and separate. One at a time, press the cinnamon roll between the palms of your hands to flatten. Press each into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust, pinching to seal any gaps between the rolls.
- Pour the coffee cake mixture over the cinnamon roll crust.
- In a small bowl, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of flour to the melted butter. Stir and sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out just shy of clean. While warm, top with icing that came with the cinnamon rolls.