The cinnamon rolls make a beautiful and delicious crust – I love making it in a clear glass pie plate so you can really show off the unique and tasty recipe!
One 9-inch pie crust, not yet baked (such as a refrigerated Pillsbury crust, or a Jiffy prepared crust)
4 tbsp melted butter
4 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon,
3/4 cup dark or light corn syrup
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla paste (vanilla extract will work)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups pecan halves
Start with dough that is slightly chilled but still pliable. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment or waxed paper until it’s a little less than 1/4-inch thick.
Brush 1 tablespoon of the butter on top of the crust–for the cinnamon to stick to. Leave the rest of the melted butter to put in the filling. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon on top of the crust, and spread it around. Now roll it up into a tight spiral. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the spiral log into rounds, about 1/2-inch thick. If your dough has become too soft to cut cleanly, or is getting smashed down during the process, refrigerate or freeze it briefly until it is firm.
Rub a 9-inch pie pan liberally with butter. Start placing the cinnamon swirl pie pieces in the pan and begin to flatten them with your fingers, pressing them down so that they expand. Place them next to each other across the entire bottom and up the sides, filling in all of the gaps. You shouldn’t see any empty space between the pieces. Try to get them all about the same depth. Press everything together until you have a solid crust in an even thickness.
Use a sharp paring knife to trim the rough crust edges so that they are smooth and even all the way around the top pie crust edge. Once the crust is made, place it in the refrigerator to chill while you mix up the filling, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
For the easy filling: in a large bowl, combine the corn syrup and the brown sugar. Whisk them together until there are no lumps of sugar. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter and the eggs, whisking well. Finally, add the vanilla, the salt, and remaining 2 tsps of cinnamon, as well as the pecans. Stir everything well until it’s entirely blended, then carefully pour it in to the cinnamon roll pie crust. Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, should it accidentally spill over. Bake the pie in the 375 F oven for 15 minutes.
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