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It’s Okay, Because It’s A Pie-in-a-Cake.

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So Sunday was Easter. And this is what I did to celebrate:

Okay, you can stop drooling now. Because I’m going to explain.

This lovely mess of a dessert is my own rendition of a Cherpumple. Like I’ve mentioned before, I promised it to myself as an end of Lent treat. And without realizing until much later, a three-tiered cake did seem ironically relevant to the day.

The original recipe calls for three cake mixes : yellow, white, and chocolate; and three pies: apple, cherry, and pumpkin. Hence, CherPumPle.

I decided to branch out and use lemon, chocolate and  strawberry for the cakes and coconut custard, pecan, and apple for the pies.

Bottom Layer:

Middle Layer:

Top Layer:

If you’re not like me and plan on doing this in a logistical, clean manner, you would have mixed the lemon batter, placed the pie upside down in the pan and baked the bottom layer first. The cake you would have ended up with would probably have been done in about 35-40 minutes. Then you would have done the same with the other cakes.

But because this was my first go, and I had only one large cake pan (okay, cheesecake pan) big enough to encompass the two parts together, and two medium sized pans, I severely underestimated the cooking time and the way the cakes would bake. So because I’m more of a trial-and-error kind of girl (emphasis on the error), I prepared all three layers to be baked in the oven at the same time. It should have worked. But…

That’s right. The cake batter started overflowing in my oven. When I checked to see why my kitchen started smelling oddly of smoke, I opened the door only to find that the strawberry layer was leaking on to the bottom of the oven and that the chocolate layer was dangerously close to doing the same. I switched off the oven, waited long enough to make sure I wouldn’t burn off my skin and tried to clean up the remnants. This is why it took about an hour and a half longer than necessary to cook all three cakes.

Spoiler Alert: They came out just fine. But back to the pictures:

Fill pan 1/3 of the way, place pie of choice upside down, and pour remaining batter over the top.

This is when you should probably invest in bigger pans, or at least find an easier way to bake a pie in a cake:

And this is how the bottom layer came out, before removing the top and adding a layer of frosting.

I cut off the top of the chocolate cake so that they would all be even, making it easier to place one top of the other. Then added more frosting as an adhesive.

I never kid about frosting.

Three cans worth. Three.

Two were to coat, one was for final touches. Then decorate accordingly.

And enjoy!

I still call it a Cherpumple, only because I can’t find a worthy replacement name. Chuslemple? Maybe.

Anyways, it was OH SO GOOD. I had some floormates and roommates test it out. And I found I couldn’t have a huge slice, because well, even a sliver was more than enough. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have some for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper…

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American Pie.

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It’s probably the worst sort of torture for me that tomorrow’s Techniques of Regional Cuisine class is all about pie. I’ll elaborate: It’s less than a week before Lent ends, so that means I can not indulge in desserts until Easter Sunday bright and early – probably all day. My consolation prize was going to be to make a Cherpumple.

Correct. A Cherpumple. What’s that, you ask?

It’s three different pies baked in three different cakes, stacked on top of each other and slathered in frosting and whatever else. Maybe I’ll drizzle some chocolate and dust it with sprinkles too – oh who am I kidding? I’m probably just going to dip pieces in melted chocolate like fondue. Gluttony suits me.

Anyways, back to the problem at hand. Tomorrow’s region is North America and we’re making pies. Originally I thought we’d stick to staples like hamburgers, french fries, meatloaf, any kind of pasta dish. I realize this is a gross generalization – I don’t know anyone who eats meatloaf these days. But considering how we made desserts from South America last week, I would have guessed we’d steer clear of those from North America. Nope. Fruit pies, dessert pies, even a pot pie.  At least I can have some of that.

But I’ll quit my complaining. I’m pretty excited, despite my qualms. I will use this as an opportunity to improve my pie making skills. I’ve made pie crusts only a few times before, and let’s just say more practice makes pies more perfect. I made a Quiche for my Intro to Foods final exam last year and still blame the points I got off for lack of time spent in the oven.

Don’t worry guys, I’m not going to feed anyone anything undercooked.

And just because…

“Sing a song of sixpence,
pocket full of rye,
four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
the birds began to sing:
isn’t that a dainty dish
to set before the King?

The King is in his counting-house
counting out his money;
the Queen is in the parlor
eating bread and honey;
the Maid is in the garden
hanging up the clothes,
when down swoops a Blackbird
and snaps off her nose!”