Before I start on my pie blog swan song, I’d like to send healing thoughts and hope for a speedy recovery to my Aunt Judy in Nashville who’s very ill. Please get well soon.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you:)
A year ago I decided to do a pie a week and blog about it. It’s been an experience part exciting, boring, humorous, fun, not-so-fun, and an all-around pleasant learning experience (I still need to work on my crust skills though…). For those of you who followed along, thank you. Thank you for asking me how things were going and staying interested. And in doing so, keeping me interested.
I hope you’ve used this small library of classic and unique recipes and I also hope you had an even better go of it than I did:) I also hope you continue to use it. For anyone coming along after the fact, thank you for looking around. I hope you find something that you would like to try, and something that you enjoy.
This has also been a marker of time and happenings in the past year. Nothing too crazy but certainly some sadness and some excellent times, and everything in between. As it should be, it has been a mix. It also marks a transition. It’s re-kindled my desire to get out and do new things. So, I will shortly be fostering of a reasonable number of Siamese cats and volunteering with Austin Siamese Rescue and Austin Pets Alive! Joining me on this adventure is my lovely wife. Yay! Doing good deeds together:) Maybe I can blog about that too.
Pie number 52 was something I couldn’t think of a good name for. So I asked my friends on that-social-network-thing for a name and gave them the description; a cherry pie baked inside a chocolate cake and frosted with a semi-sweet chocolate and sour cream frosting. I got some good names and umm, some abstract. I decided to go with The Cherry Bomb. It has a nice ring to it. Thanks Heidi.
My final concoction is inspired by Kate Orenberg over at Summer of Pie. You can find her story of the epic Capownie here. I initially wanted to do her recipe, which is 6 pages long. It also requires baking tools I couldn’t McGyver. So I went with a toned down version of her larger concept and created a flavor concoction that my wife came up with. My recipe was 3 pages, which makes sense. Kate created a double-decker. And she did it over the course of a week. I just didn’t have that kind of time.
I started putting this together Wednesday at 8am. I finished it around 9:30pm. In between, I also made Baby-Screamin its Head Off in the Middle of the Night and Ruinin my Life Pie, helped Tammi braise a turkey, and did a couple of other things to get my Thanksgiving on. This modipied creation was a bit of work but, after sampling the wares as it was coming together, I think this is going to rock.
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tbsp. cold water
In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and blend using on/off turns. Process until coarse meal forms. Add water and blend using on/off turns. Add water by teaspoon if dough seems dry. Gather dough into a ball, flatten and chill for at least one hour.
Line the inside of a 9 inch pie pan with tin foil. Wrap the edges down and under the side of the tin. A smaller pie tin would probably be best as you want to make sure the pie you put in the cake is a bit smaller and more dense. Dense is key, you don’t want the pie to come apart in transfer. That would be no bueno.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 inch diameter circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the edges to 1/2 inch off side. Fold the extra dough under the edge. Don’t worry about fluting or crimping your edge. Nobody is going to see it unless they excavated their cake. Chill at least an hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Line the crust with foil and place dried beans or pie weights. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a light brown. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, create a tin foil collar for your crust, making sure your edges are covered. You don’t want to burn the edge.
2 16 oz. cans (equal to 4 cups) cherry pie filling
1/4 cup granulated white sugar, or as needed
2 1/2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. cherry brandy
Place the cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix with a large wooden or plastic spoon until joined. Pour the mixture into the baked pie shell. Spread the cherry filling to the tin foil collar.
Bake at 425F, for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake an extra 25-30 minutes.
Place on wire rack. Let cool completely. Transfer to fridge and allow at least an hour to chill. Two hours would be better. It really needs to set.
3 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup shortening
2 tsp. vanilla
6 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled ( use a microwave safe bowl, and nuke it for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray oil and flour 10 inch springform pan, removing excess flour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds on low-speed, stopping to scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.
Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed.
Pour enough batter to have a ½ inch platform to allow pie to sit on. Bake 5-10 minutes or until batter is just firm enough to hold pie.
Unwrap the tin foil collar from the crust. Using the tin foil you lined your pie tin with, loosen and lift the cherry pie from your pie tin. Transfer your cooled cherry pie to the 10 inch springform pan.
Pour remaining batter into srpingform. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Let cool for at least 4 hours. Using a butter knife, run along outer edge of cake to separate from the springform. Remove springform. Place back in fridge until you are ready to frost.
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
In a medium sauce pan, let chips slowly melt over low heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. It’s ready to spread.
Remove your cherry occupied cake from the fridge and frost away. When done, you should have some extra frosting. Find a good cookie and dip that bad boy into the remaining frosting and enjoy.
I had a small gathering of friends eager to see the result and it turned out quite well. I actually had pie-parazzi snapping photos and videos of the cutting of the cake. Kinda felt like I was at my wedding again:) The entire thing was dense but had a good flavor and the chocolate/cherry mix really was the bomb. I have some left over if you want to stop by and try it:)
I’m so glad I did this. I have the disherprin. I may do a few more recipes periodically depending on what I find, or what I feel I can make up. But for now, I have achieved the goal I set for myself and this makes me happy. Have a great holiday season and take care.