Mer’s Cinnamon Pie Inspired by “Psych”

“Are you a fan of delicious flavor?” Because you guys, something wonderful is happening this week! You hear about Pluto? That’s messed up, but what’s not messed up is the much anticipated return of my favorite TV show of all time for one night only this Thursday (Dec 7). Psych is a pretty important show to Amanda and me as you can probably tell from our pineapple theming and the Shawn and Gus duo can always help us unwind after a long day. I can never go too long without a Psych binge which is why we wanted to go all out for the Psych movie airing this week.

Since food centers so prevalently in Shawn and Gus’ lives as well as ours, our natural response is to get cooking for that premier. One of the many dishes that intrigued us the most was the Cinnamon Pie from the “Dual Spires” episode. In this Twin Peaks themed episode, Shawn and Gus are lured to a tiny town with promise of a Cinnamon Festival where they try cinnamon pie so gould “it could bring tears.”. I mean, how could we not try to make that, right? Amanda and I both have different interpretations, and honestly I’ve heard it both ways. Now, don’t be exactly half of an eleven pound Black Forest ham and try this pie for yourself.


  • 1 Pie crust to fit a 9″ pie pan (you can go store bought or I used this recipe, which was a nice savory complement to this sweet pie)
  • 1/2 cup of butter-softened (1 stick)
  • 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F
  2. Press your pie crust into your 9″ pie pan and crimp the edges. Fill the crust with some kind of weight 2/3 of the way to the top of the pan. You can use dry beans, actual pie weights or I used a layer of foil filled with sugar.
  3. Bake the weighted pie crust for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Reduce oven to 350°F while you prepare your filling.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until resembling wet sand, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated after each addition. Add the cinnamon, bourbon, vanilla and salt at this point as well.
  6. Stir in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon until all the elements are incorporated and then sift in your flour. Give everything a stir and pour into your prepared pie crust.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the middle is no longer jiggly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the pie crust starts to look a little dark on the outsides while baking, cover the edges with foil. Allow to cool for 1 hour and then chill if desired before serving. Maybe watch some Psych while you enjoy the cinnamon aromas (you don’t even need the super-smeller to appreciate). Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream and enjoy!


Wine pairing: Since this is such a sweet pie, I’d say a full-bodied red would be a nice choice to go with it. Something like a spicy Malbec would be nice, and pretend it’s from Mira’s vineyard to add to the experience. See you on Dec 7 for “Psych: The Movie”




Summer Dishes: Liquid Smoke Marinated Steak

Welcome to summer! Unfortunately, my condo complex doesn’t have a grill area and the one time that I tried to use a portable grill on my balcony I may have used too much self-lighting charcoal. For the a grill taste without compromising the safety of my patio furniture, I decided to put my steak in a liquid smoke marinade.Liquid smoke is a natural additive made from water infused with hickory smoke. You can find it in most grocery stores near the barbecue sauce. Its also good in slow-cooked chilis!

Why marinate?

Though marinating meat can also tenderize, the main purpose of marinades are to add flavor. Typically, they are composed of an acid  + an oil + flavorings. Acids can be vinegar, wine, juice, or even yogurt (like in Chicken Tikka Masala). More on marinades to come in another post!


2 rib eye steaks (one serving is approximately one lb.)

2 tbs canola oil

4 tbs butter (optional)


3 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 tbs soy sauce

8 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs honey

1 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 tbs ground ginger

Ground pepper



  1. Combine marinade ingredients and add to steaks in large Ziploc bag. Chill in fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
  2. Once done marinading, remove steaks from bag onto a cutting board and discard marinade.
  3. Pat steaks dry with paper towel. This allows for the steak to better sear in the pan.
  4. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. I use a non-stick skiller, but cast iron pans are the “ideal”.
  5. Once oil is heated, lay steak in pan (away from you!). A minute or two in, I usually add a tablespoon or two of butter (yum!) Cook according to preferred temperature (see table below.)
  6. Flip steak after desired time has passed. Tongs work best for keeping the juices in the steak (and not flopping your steak out of the pan in the process). If desired, add more butter.
  7. Remove steak from pan and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cooking Times for Temperature:

Rare (1-2 minutes on each side)

Medium Rare (2-3 minutes on each side)

Medium (3-4 minutes on each side)

Medium Well (5 minutes on each side)

Well Done (6 minutes on each side)


Side Dishes: In keeping with the summery theme, I boiled some corn on the cob. This is a pretty low-maintenance but delicious side dish, with the corn being boiled for about 10 minutes. I also had watermelon salad with goat cheese. I think feta would be better next time, since the cheese crumbles better!

Wine Pairing: Between the richness of the steak flavors, liquid smoke seasoning, and the char that comes from the pan-frying process, a bold red worked best. I had a Malbec from my local winery, made with grapes from Oregon. Malbec has more fruit flavors than another bold red like a Cabernet, but with the same smoky, tannin taste that pairs well with steak and other grilled foods!