Friday, November 26, 2010

The Penguin Cherpumple

This Thanksgiving, I was finally able to slice into my very own cherpumple. Cher-wha? Last year I was introduced to the fabulous idea of the cherpumple via this video:

I knew I must have one! Basically, it's a cherry pie baked into a white cake, on top of a pumpkin pie baked into a yellow cake, on top of an apple pie baked into a spice cake, all frosted into one amazing three layer cake of AWESOME.

Here's how I made mine. I started off with lofty goals of going all from-scratch... but I'm not that awesome. Did I mention I have a 10 month old? Anyway, started off with the apple pie filling.

Most of my recipes are really annoying to share since I fake my way through it. Here's my best guess:

4 Granny Smith Apples, sliced up
4 tablespoons orange juice (I usually use lemon, the idea is that the citrus adds a little punch and keeps the apples from browning)
3 tablespoons of flour (to thicken it up)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

I put all of this into something that seals, stir, then shake it up. (This part is a great little release of angst). For the other two fillings, I did store bought; the pumpkin required adding evaporated milk and and eggs.

For the pie crust I went with a basic crust for all three. Here's my guess at about a pie's worth of recipe. (So I made about 3x as much).

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tablespoons of Oil
1 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of water (or how ever much you need to get the right consistency)

Next, I poured the fillings into each pan. (The trick here is to get pie pans smaller than your cake pans. I did this by buying 8 inch disposable cake pans to use as pie pans, thus fitting nicely into the nine inch cake pans.)

Then I added lattice to the cherry pie and a cover with pricks to the apple pie. Neither of these is really needed, but I figured it would make flipping them into the cake pans a little easier later.

Baked all three pies at 350 degrees for about a half hour... until they looked golden brownish.

I let them cool over night.

I also opted for super easy on the cakes, by using mixes; in this case, white, yellow, and spice. I literally bought the cheapest kinds. They each required three eggs, 1/3 cup of oil, and a cup and a third of water. (The white one just used egg whites).

I spread cake batter over the bottom of the pan, about a centimeter thick. Then flipped the pie into the batter. It sorta didn't go all in one piece. Luckily, I just kinda smushed the rest back down into there.

Finally, I spread batter to fill in around the edges and cover the pie. *Note that there is A LOT of batter... too much really*

I spread the extra batter into another cake pan to make a mini-pie-less cherpumple... which wouldn't really have any of the reasons for the name... If you were making nine inch pies to go into twelve inch cake pans, I'm guessing you'd have just the right amount of batter.I repeated with the Apple pie in yellow cake. (I only had two cake pans, so I only did the first two.)

Into the oven they went at 350 degrees... for about fifteen minutes... when I smelled the smoke. You see, they were totally too full and dripped. This was a total fail since it was Thanksgiving morning and the turkey was very shortly going to bake in that oven. GRRRRRRrrrrrrr!

Took the cakes out, cleaned the oven, then finished baking. Next, went about making the third cake. I was a little more careful not to over-fill. We baked that bad boy next the turkey. Here's the drippy cake:

At last, it was time to assemble this behemoth. I had to de-pan the cherry/white layer to bake the apple/spice layer. It just popped right out. The apple/spice layer was a tad more difficult. It seams I didn't grease the pan as well since I was in such a hurry. I ended up breaking the whole darn thing in half.

Luckily, I used a spatula to loosen up that bad boy, and just set it right on top.

I cut around the edge to trim it into a circle. The bottom was also slightly burnt, so I just scraped off the darker/burnt part since I'd be frosting it anyway.

I frosted the bottom layer. I cheated here too with a store-bought frosting. It took three cans total.

Next I sliced around the edges of the pumpkin/yellow layer and placed it on top.

I frosted there as well.

Finally I added the third layer.

I frosted all the way around.

And on the top, if you're generous, it's easier to spread the frosting.

Because it amused me, I added some silly safety green decorations. My sister also let us put the mini-cakes she had brought around it. The whole thing was in a large tupperware dish because we needed something really sturdy... the thing weighed 8-9 pounds.

After an incredible feast, it was time to chow down. It takes a bit to slice, and you don't want to make a large slice as it is already pretty tall with all those layers.

I found out it was easier to dish up with a spatula AND the knife. Here's a few more pictures of the glories of our cherpumple success.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Are you going to?

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