There is a pie competition today with 3 categories of entry, one of which is "Pie you've never tried before". It's not a very strict competition, and I thought hey, it'd be fun to make a pake! What's a pake? It's a pie baked inside a cake, of course. My friend Paul is the pake-master, so I got some tips before embarking on this adventure. I'm going for "easy", so I bought the Libby's "add eggs and evaporated milk" pumpkin pie mix (basically their usual pumpkin puree but with the sugar and spices already mixed in) and I *thought* I'd bought frozen pie crusts, but then couldn't find them in our freezer or on my grocery receipt so I must've put them back by accident. Being too "lazy" to go to the store, I threw together a pie crust dough Friday night. It was easy, except for how many dishes get dirty when making a pie crust and having to roll it out with all the flour. Also, at 33 weeks pregnant, my belly ended up with a disproportionate amount of flour on it. Pie crust dough
, makes two crusts):
2.5 cp flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cp shortening, chilled and cut into cubes
1/4 cp cold water (more as needed)
1/4 cp cold vodka (more as needed -- for the crust)
• Mix the flour with the salt
• Cut the butter and shortening into the flour with a pastry blender, two knives, or a food processor with the dough blade until it resembles coarse crumbs.
• Sprinkle vodka and water over the mixture and fold gently until the mixture sticks together to form a tacky dough.
• Divide in half, flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate between 1 hour and 2 days.
• When ready to make the pie, roll out one piece (or two for a double crust pie) and bake according to pie directions.
NOTES: I iced the water before adding it to my mixture and ended up adding a full half cup total and 3/8 cp vodka total. I should've put my shortening in the freezer since it was still pretty mushy and almost spreadable, despite having been in the fridge overnight. (The fridge is set to 36 degrees.) I considered using a rum instead for the crust, but my husband was rather adamant that vodka was a better choice for the crust. I suspect having the rum as a shot to go along with making the pie would be nice, but I probably should've put the vodka in the freezer too. It all ended up behaving fine, but I haven't tasted it yet. I put one crust's worth of dough in the freezer to save for a Thanksgiving pie, and the other I rolled out after a few hours in the fridge.Assembling the Pake
I'm hesitant to say it even is a "recipe" since most of this is pre-packaged stuff. You can even use a frozen pie, but I went with the can of pie-mix and a homemade crust because I was trying to save a buck or two, and it didn't seem that much harder.
• Obtain a 9" pumpkin pie by any (preferably legal) means at your disposal.
• Prepare your favorite cake mix. I used the Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake.
• Grease and flour a 9" springform pan.
• Pour 2/3 of the cake batter into the pan, then place the pie (right side up) on top of the batter and pour the remaining cake batter on top of the pie.
• Bake at 325° for 50 minutes, then cover with tin foil and bake another 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it doesn't come out clean yet, continue baking and test every 5-10 minutes until done.
NOTES: I had baked my pie fresh, so it was still warm, arguably hot in the middle. The cooler your pie is, the longer it'll take to bake your pake. You can even put a pie in still frozen, I think, but it'll take like 2 hours to cook. I ended up breaking the edge bits of crust off the pie and even then, it just baaarely fit in the cake pan, but it did fit, nice and snug. I might have been able to take the whole thing out earlier than 90 minutes, but with the dense carrot cake and the custardy pie inside, a little extra baking is fine and I didn't think to check it earlier than 90 minutes. After examining the differences between the pie-mix and the traditional recipe, I actually suspect the pie-mix may end up working out better. The pie-mix has sugar syrup as a fair amount of its liquid and 5 oz of evaporated milk, whereas the traditional recipe has straight sugar, no added water, and 12 oz of evaporated milk. Our guess is that the traditional recipe ends up more custardy, and a less-custardy pie would be more beneficial to pake-stability. I forgot to cover the pake at 50 minutes and instead covered it at 70 minutes, but it doesn't look scorched or anything on top, and carrot cake is already moist and dense so it shouldn't be too dried out, either. The top is flatter than most cakes I've baked, probably partly due to the non-rising pie in the middle and partly due to carrot cakes being denser than most.
Iced with a cream cheese icing, find any generic recipe on the web. Doing a crumb layer was a wise choice. Pictures to be added after it's been cut open at the potluck.