Imagine a lovely cake, iced pretty and smelling scrumptious. Imagine taking a plate in one expectant hand and a knife in the other, then cutting into the cake, removing a slice… and seeing a PIE INSIDE.
When I was in high school, a few friends and I worked together on a project for Marketing class in which we had to come up with a product, make it, and market it. Other kids made t-shirts and who knows what else, but we came up with an idea so exciting that it stayed in our minds for years: pie in a cake.
Pie. Inside of a cake. There is only one word to accompany such an idea: AWESOME.
We soon realized, however, that given time constraints and our limited abilities, pie-in-a-cake would go the way of pipe dreams. Instead, we came up with Jello Pie (which involved red Jell-O in a graham cracker crust); it tasted pretty good, and we made a funny commercial for it, which perhaps someday I will post here. I remember doing pretty well on the project, but that is neither here nor there.
Pie-in-a-cake, the dream, was lost in the sands of time—or so I thought, until I met my great friend Mary (a contributor to this little blog). Our friendship was cemented when, after (for some unremembered reason) I told her about pie-in-a-cake, she assured me that we would make it.
And make it we did. It took some careful planning and creative maneuvering, but it was worth it.
Here, in a few illustrated steps, is our journey.
Originally we thought a cherry pie inside a chocolate cake would be just the thing, but we didn’t have access to a lot of from-scratch baking supplies, and the store only had white cake. So we decided to go with white cake and a blueberry pie.
1. Get the stuff. You’ll need everything it takes to make a small pie and a big(ger) cake.
2. Make the cake batter and make the pie crust (simultaneously if possible).
3. Put some batter at the bottom of the baking pan so that the pie crust stays put and gets hidden in the middle of the cake (we didn’t want it to fall out when we lifted out the cake).
4. Set the pie crust in it and make the pie. We pre-baked the bottom portion of the pie crust.
After doing the fancy lattice work—which we thought was important to do despite the fact that it would get lost in the pie—we baked this for about ten minutes (just so the top portion of the crust would brown).
5. Bake the top layer of the cake, then pour batter over the pie and bake that. That is the bottom layer, and you’ll have to watch it bake rather than precisely following the cake’s instructions.
6. Decorate! (If your baked layers don’t hide the pie, hide it with icing!) Serve!
My high school friends can be proud of Mary and I, for we lived the dream.
And now you can too.