I am grouchy. I am usually grouchy at Christmas for any number of reasons: crappy weather, sunsets at 4:22 p.m., indigestion, routine disruption, et cetera. Today I am grouchy because I fucked up what was to be the pinnacle of my holiday crafting and baking: the almighty cherpumple. And also because I am on my period, if we’re being honest.
I, however, have returned from my quest, empty-handed and vaguely sticky.
The idea of cherpumple is simple: cherry pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, each baked into a cake, then layered and frosted into one behemoth cake.
The execution, it turns out, is less simple.
I blocked out my entire day to create this thing, because it involves cooking three pies and three cakes and then putting them together. An hour and a half in, I had my pies done.
And only then did I realize that either my pies were too big, or my cake pans were too small.
Undaunted (and unwilling to go to the grocery store the Sunday before Christmas for anything less than a life-threatening emergency), I decided I’d just use a 9×13. It wouldn’t be as pretty, sure, but the principal should be the same.
After one false start wherein I poured in some batter, realized I forgot to spray the pan, poured the batter back out, washed the pan, sprayed it, and started over, I began by putting a bit of the cake batter at the bottom.
The part that had worried me the most before I began was de-tinning the pies whole and then somehow inserting them into the cake pan. I’d never attempted to de-tin an entire pie before. I began with the age-old, put-a-plate-on-it-and-turn-it-upside-down trick.
As you can see, that worked fairly well. Then it was time to get it into the cake pan.
As you can see, that failed miserably.
But, I thought it was probably close enough, since it was just going to get baked into a cake anyway, so I pressed on.
When it came out of the oven, I thought this whole crazy idea just might work. It looked good and smelled delicious. I set it aside to let it cool while I mixed up the next batch of cake batter.
And then I went to turn the cake out so I could use the pan for my next pie-cake layer. And, oh, the carnage. As I turned it, my husband (the camera operator because I had run out of hands) screamed, “It’s dripping!”
I had no idea how it could be dripping since it was solid cake all the way around, but lo, it was dripping. Well, more like erupting.
I briefly considered trying to stick the whole thing back in the oven to bake some more or something, to try to salvage my experiment, but in the end, I threw in the towel and decided two pies and some cupcakes were better than three ruined layers of inedible cherpumple.
So there will be no cherpumple at the Foust house this Christmas, alas. I hope we will survive on what little consumerism and gluttony we can scrounge up now.
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