Things I've learned from making the Cherpumple
Today I made my third of these delicious monstrosities. The first two were super awesome, but the third experienced technical difficulties. I have learned from the process and feel that I need to share this with anyone who wishes to make this thing.
First thing: pies and cakes need to come from supermarkets. Home made cakes and pies from scratch have no place in cherpumple building. The cake needs to come from mixes, the more preservatives the better! Pies should be pre-made and dense. If supermarket bakery pies aren't available, then get the frozen ones. Bake them, cool them (in the freezer for time) and then bake them in the cake.
9" pies work best in 9" springform pans. I tried using square pans and it just didn't work out as well. I haven't tried working in 9"x2" cake pans but I suspect that they are too small given the volume of the pie plus the cake and how it expands while baking.
Last thing. Have a big enough cake stand or surface prepared. Something on a turntable would be ideal. The cherpumple is really heavy. More so than you expect. The apple pie seems to be the weakest link. It is the one that will crumble. Be sure that you don't carve any of the pie away when you trim the cake or else it will fall.
What if it falls?
Put it in the fridge. Make it cold, it will help the thing congeal and stay together. On the last one, I had to put it in something to contain the cake so it wouldn't fall apart.
Will I make this again? Yes. It is the perfect desert for Turducken http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turducken (and variations there of).
Are there more things to learn to make a better cherpumple? Absolutely. And as they come up I will share them, but for now, happy cherpumpling!