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Cherpumple

Grainy iPhone picture, courtesy of Dan Vilter

On December 4, I received the Charles Phoenix “Slide of the Week" email just like the rest of you (AND IF YOU DON’T, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? GO SIGN UP NOW!) and had an epiphany; this was what I’d make for the Haugh PAC Holiday Party.

The HPAC crew’s fascination with pie isn’t a new thing, but it was definitely rekindled by the recent recording of “Slices of Pie.”

(A little backstory; Citrus Singers’ Pop Show 2007’s after closer was “Seasons of Love.” As a gift for the crew, a cast member brough pie for them. Bilbo changed the lyrics to “Seasons of Love” to “Slices of Pie” and the crew sang that over the headsets during the last show. “Slices of Pie” was recorded this year and set to video for the crew as a holiday gift from Bilbo, the ASM for “Christmas Is…”)

Anyway, this recipe was perfect given recent activity and the theme and mood of the party. So, I made it.

First of all, if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Cherpumple, watch Charles Phoenix’s YouTube Video. Or, for those on a time limit (which, really, why do you read this blog, anyway?), it’s a 3 layer dessert; the bottom layer is a pumpkin pie baked into a spice cake, the middle layer is an apple pie baked into yellow cake, and the top layer is a cherry pie baked into white cake, all frosted up with vanilla frosting.

After reading accounts of other Cherpumples gone amiss, I have to admit I was pretty terrified. Would my pièce de résistance become the remains of a cake/pie orgy? Frightening.

I started with 3 storebought pies (I would have done better, but I was on a time crunch, folks) and put them in the oven to kinda dry them out. The major downfall (no pun intended) of this project is that there is so much moisture from the pie filling and cake batter that the whole thing caves in, and I wasn’t having that. I mean, I won blue ribbons at the LA County Fair, after all! (sarcasm!) I also made sure the cakes were well done in hopes of getting rid of any excess moisture.

Another secret of my success: springform pans of graduated sizes. Remember when you use springform pans and think cake batter to place the springform on a cookie sheet before you put it in the oven, or you’ll have a real mess on your hands. The batter will leak out the bottom and become one burnt mess!

The finished product

Above: the finished product

I believe that the only thing I would have done differently is to use more frosting. I used 2 tall cans instead of 3.

Bilbo asked how many times I attempted the Cherpumple before the successful one. Umm…once? Do you not know that even buying the supplies on sale, it was about $20 to make? I think being cautious also helped.

Anyway, enjoy photos of the might Cherpumple Monster Cake!

Karen making the first slice

Karen making the first slice

The first slice!

The first slice!

Observe the strata

Observe the strata!

Thanks to Charles Phoenix and my co-workers for the holiday inspiration!

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