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Help making a fake pie


runwestierun
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I would like to make something like this "Something Borrowed" wedding cake made out of pie crust, it's the third cake as you scroll down:

http://joyofdesserts...four-royal.html

I want to make 3 tiers instead of 5, and they don't have to be edible. They are just for looks to support the actual wedding pie at a wedding that features pie instead of cake. I am trying to figure out how to make it and I've had some spectacular failures.

I am trying to bake the tiers by draping pie crust over inverted stockpots and dutch ovens. Regular medium flake butter/shortening pie crust sloughed off the pot. I thought I'd use bread flour to make it tougher, but it looked like a bread cake instead of a pie crust cake. I tried an all Crisco crust and froze it for 5 hours before baking and it sloughed off the pot too. Anyone have any ideas? I sure could use some help.

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Yeah, Scottie, that makes sense. I was hoping to make the crust in one piece, though, because this will be viewed up close 360 degrees. Also it's a smaller scale than the original. And I don't have confidence in my ability to make panels that will curve and fit together into a perfect cylinder without looking like Frankencake. Any ideas how to make it in one piece?

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. . . I was hoping to make the crust in one piece, though, because this will be viewed up close 360 degrees. Also it's a smaller scale than the original. And I don't have confidence in my ability to make panels that will curve and fit together into a perfect cylinder without looking like Frankencake. . . .

I'm fairly certain that those curved pieces were baked on the inside of a pan or pot that was set on its side. If you're careful to not overbake, the crust should be a bit flexible when you remove it from the oven, and you can cool it draped over the outside of something that has the diameter of you want for that layer.

If you try you make that in one piece, there is the risk of it cracking/breaking apart in an uncontrolled way, whereas if you do it as three (?) panels, it not only looks nice, but is far less vulnerable (it also gives a starting place for slicing that doesn't demolish the layer).

The intricacy of the decoration on most of the other tiers makes it difficult to see whether or not they were done as one piece, but I doubt it. Even that relatively unadorned middle layer may have been done as two sections: seen from just one side, it would be easy to hide the seem.

This comment is also making me wonder whether that is truly pastry crust: 'Here, piecrust is a decorative and delicious fondant on the cake'.

I've seen fondant made to look convincingly like all sorts of things, pastry crust wouldn't be that much of a stretch; any chance of getting a little more information on what that actually is, from the Betty Crocker people?

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
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The cake was made at Betty Crocker. I emailed them to ask if they could give me any guidance, and here is their response:

Dear Mrs. Perkins:

Thank you for contacting us concerning www.bettycrocker.com. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter.

The four William & Kate Royal Wedding cakes were created as inspirational and concept cakes. We did not create recipes for them. The decorations (leaves and flowers) for the “Something Borrowed” cake can be individually baked then glued together with frosting or royal icing. The main pastry parts of the cake were baked on foil forms to give the round shape.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Bobbi Hart

Consumer Services

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Or you could bake the pie crust on curved flashing (from the hardware store). You can shape the flashing (be careful, the stuff is sharp) and then cover it in foil to bake if you think people are going to chip off pieces. You'd probably need a few test runs to see how the crust behaves (shrinking, browning, etc).

Use styrofoam cake dummies to form the curves so you have the right dimensions. Then apply the piecrust to the dummies using the royal icing as glue.

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That's a good idea. I can make the cake dummies out of Rice Krispy treats so I can fit the dummies to the flashing, rather than making something a specific size to fit the styrofoam. I am going to try one more time with the dutch oven and cover it with wrinkled up aluminum foil to see if having nooks and crannies to grip will keep the crust on the pot. I really want this to look good up close.

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Regular medium flake butter/shortening pie crust sloughed off the pot.

Thanks for posting the photos, I think those cakes look amazing. I especially like the 'old' one, and I'm just as impressed that they responded to your email. Kudos to Betty Crocker!

To me, it looks like puff pastry. Regular shortcrust pastry will not have any structural strength and flaky / filo pastry is also going to be too weak. Puff pastry does have some structural strength, and it's common to bake it weighted down to stop it from rising. To me, it has to appearance of pastry that was baked inside a tin and turned out.

So if you're using a dutch oven, I would use the INSIDE, as if you were blind baking. If it doesn't have to be edible you can probably fit some smaller tins inside the dutch oven to pack out the empty space and then fill the gaps around the edge with rice.

I think that using the inside of a tin, and not draping it over the outside, is the key.

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Try hot water crust pastry, which is the traditional pastry for use in hand-raised pies in the UK

Do you have a recipe? Does that pastry keep it's shape ?

The whole point of hot water crust pastry is that is does keep it's shape and structural integrity

I haven't used it, but Dan Leapard's pastry recipes are usual very reliable http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/24/foodanddrink.baking55

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I think Nayan is right. There are plenty of flaws in this example of hot water crust, but it must be your best bet for building out of real pastry. If you leave off the egg wash, you'll get a look like that of the scotch pies in the last photo.

The pie with the straightest sides was cooked with a band of folded baking parchment round it, secured with metal clips. You could use a straight-sided, upturned metal cake tin with the pastry formed on the outside of it, and a band of paper round the whole thing. The paper doesn't have to reach right to the edges.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Seems to me that everyone is missing the fact that this is a cake and it's the cake itself that is providing the structure. As they said, the crust was applied as a fondant - it is just an outer layer on the cake and doesn't provide support. I could be wrong.

Mark

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Seems to me that everyone is missing the fact that this is a cake and it's the cake itself that is providing the structure. As they said, the crust was applied as a fondant - it is just an outer layer on the cake and doesn't provide support. I could be wrong.

You are in this instance.

The 'pie-crust' on the original cake found in the link was made out of fondant. Runwestierun was asking about how something similar could be done with using pastry, and hence making a wedding pie. That, I believe, is what we've been answering

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The 'pie-crust' on the original cake found in the link was made out of fondant. Runwestierun was asking about how something similar could be done with using pastry, and hence making a wedding pie. That, I believe, is what we've been answering

The detailed photos of the "Something Borrowed" cake suggest that it is covered in actual pie crust, not fondant. I would be amazed if fondant could be made to look that blistered and brittle, like real pastry.

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The 'pie-crust' on the original cake found in the link was made out of fondant. Runwestierun was asking about how something similar could be done with using pastry, and hence making a wedding pie. That, I believe, is what we've been answering

The detailed photos of the "Something Borrowed" cake suggest that it is covered in actual pie crust, not fondant. I would be amazed if fondant could be made to look that blistered and brittle, like real pastry.

My bad; I was going by what was written below the photograph.

Particularly the part that states:

"

Here, piecrust is a decorative and delicious fondant on the cake"

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The 'pie-crust' on the original cake found in the link was made out of fondant. Runwestierun was asking about how something similar could be done with using pastry, and hence making a wedding pie. That, I believe, is what we've been answering

The detailed photos of the "Something Borrowed" cake suggest that it is covered in actual pie crust, not fondant. I would be amazed if fondant could be made to look that blistered and brittle, like real pastry.

My bad; I was going by what was written below the photograph.

Particularly the part that states:

"

Here, piecrust is a decorative and delicious fondant on the cake"

That line fooled me, too (especially since a skilled pastry chef can make fondant very convincingly look like all sorts of things, including far less probable ones than pastry crust). The semi-illiterate who wrote up that copy apparently believes that 'fondant' means 'something covering the surface of a cake', rather than being a specific substance.

The line in the letter from the Betty Crocker contact, describing the preparation, seems to remove the ambiguity, since it seems improbable that fondant would be baked (or look like that if it was):

The cake was made at Betty Crocker. I emailed them to ask if they could give me any guidance, and here is their response:

Dear Mrs. Perkins:

Thank you for contacting us concerning www.bettycrocker.com. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter.

The four William & Kate Royal Wedding cakes were created as inspirational and concept cakes. We did not create recipes for them. The decorations (leaves and flowers) for the “Something Borrowed” cake can be individually baked then glued together with frosting or royal icing. The main pastry parts of the cake were baked on foil forms to give the round shape.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Bobbi Hart

Consumer Services

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Perhaps your basic mistake is trying to make fake food from food.

I don' t have the answer, but I'd be looking at a totally different approach.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "fake". I probably should have used the word "display" since this is for display only and won't be eaten. And oh I wish I was an artist or a master food stylist who could whip up a perfectly flaky-looking facsimile of this cake but alas I lack both the knowledge and skill. And the wedding is in less than 3 weeks so I also lack the time to become an artist, sadly. Also, I don't think the bride would allow a truly fake cake made out of something else because she is very earthy, organic--a localvore. For instance, I am not allowed to use lemon in the preparation of the pies for the wedding because they were not grown locally.

I am now going to try ChrisZ's suggestion of puff pastry. A friend of mine originally told me she thought this was maybe a short puff pastry, puff pastry without all the turns.

I haven't baked this inside a pot because ALL my pots have rivets inside and I didn't want a rivetted cake. If this fails I think I will bake it inside a pot and apply decorations over the rivet spots. I am a little worried that I won't be able to get the crust out of the pot because of the rivets, though.

I think the tiers are quite tall, that's why I haven't used a cake pan. I think I will put paper around the puff pastry like Blether suggested for the hot water pastry, though. Back to the kitchen!

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