Pie-kachu Cherry Tarts
Posted on July 27 2016
I'm coining a new term: Adoraburnt.
This one I must regretfully place in the "fail" category because I accidentally scorched my tart toppers... However! It was an easily avoidable mistake (see below) and you'll be able to achieve a great result with these mini Pokepies yourself no prob. They did turn out pretty cute I must say, singeing issues aside.
Swimming right out to the "fail" bit - what went wrong exactly? Two things:
- I accidentally turned on the stove burner that I had placed the Pokemon characters on to cool after they came out of the oven (coulda happened to anyone, c'mon!)
- I thought diced cherries in a tart shell would magically turn into "filling" (okay, that one's pretty derpy. I derp'd. I own it.)
I also put the icing sugar on when the tarts were still hot and had to reapply later, on account of it all melted. But shhhhh! No one needs to know about that one.
So, all you have to do to pull off an adorable set of Pokepies is not accidentally turn the stove burner on, and use an actual filling recipe. Easy right? Right!
Now here's how its done...
Time to create:
- 1 hour to make the Pokemon toppers
- 30 minute to make the tart filling
- 25 minutes to bake
- 1 large bag of cherries (or the filling of your choice)
- Vanilla extract
- Tart shells
- Food colouring
- Icing sugar
- Pre-made roll out pie dough (or your own recipe for sophisticated-types)
- Food-safe paintbrush
- Sharp knife
- Parchment paper
- Computer (optional: Image editing software)
- Flat plate or cutting board
- Small glass jar
Step 1 - Source and size reference photos for your cutouts
I chose Pikachu, Charmander and Jigglypuff, but of course feel free to pick your faves! A quick image search will result in thousands of poses to choose from. All you have to do next is open the images in photoshop and zoom in or out until the characters appear at the size you would like your tart toppers to be.
Step 2 - Trace reference images
You cooooould print out the images on paper and then trace that onto parchment paper, but I prefer to save a few trees and skip this step by tracing off my screen directly. It requires a bit of care to not push too hard and damage your screen, but generally speaking it's quite straight-forward. To save a bit of headache when your sheet slips, start by marking the corners of the frame with little "x"s so it is easy to realign.
Step 3 - Cut out figures and set up work area
Carefully cut out your parchment paper figures, making sure to use scissors with your name on them only. Of course. I added little 1 inch "tabs" to the bottom of my figures so that the characters don't sink to the bottom when placed in the tart filling.
Step 4 - Trace parchment guides with sharp knife in dough
Sprinkle some flour onto a cutting surface and roll out your dough.
The key to a good cut out here is cold dough and patience. If you have to pop your dough in the freezer for a minute to rechill after cutting out a few guys, just wrap in cling wrap first. Sweaty dough will not hold its shape and is a pain to cut, no matter how sharp your knife is!
Step 5 - Attach fragile bits to main body
Place your finished figures on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. If your dough is thick enough, this shouldn't been too much of an issue, but just to be on the safe side, I attached the figures' tails to the main body to add some stability when standing upright on the tart.
Step 6 - Paint on details with food colouring mixed with a tiny bit of vanilla extract
The extract helps the colouring flow better on the dough, but be careful not to let your brush get too waterlogged or the pigment will bleed. Using a tiny food-safe brush (ie. a natural hair brush you don't use for poisonous things) paint on the details using your tracings as reference. When finished, cover and pop the sheet in the freezer for 15 min.
Step 7 - Prep the cutouts for baking
This step is important - pie dough is not like cookie dough, it puffs up unpredictably unless it is weighted down. Cover your cut outs with another sheet of parchment, and weight down in whatever method is most pleasing to you. I use expired quinoa as a weight - it is easy to pour back into the container and reuse after each time and it doesn't appear to spontaneously combust in the oven.
I baked these at 400 for 15 min, but ovens vary wildly so use your best judgement and keep an eye on them. You can take them out after 10 min and peek under the parchment.
Step 9 - DON'T DESTROY YOUR FINISHED CUTOUTS
This is important enough to get its own step. After your cutout have finished baking and you've set them on the stove to cool, DON'T then accidentally turn on the burner. Nothing good will come of that.
Step 10 - Make filling (while mourning the burned Pokemon)
No matter how many times I try, cherries just wont turn red when baked. I don't know why I keep thinking they will (see the "I am not a master baker" disclaimer on the "about" page.) Anyhoo, if you want your pokeball filling to actually look like a pokeball and not a pokeball that lost a fight with a flame thrower, maybe go for that delightful out of the can fluorescent red cherry pie filling. Or just use apple sauce and dye it red. Whatevs. I wont tell you your filling business.
Also, note to self: simply dicing cherries and then putting them into tart shells will not result in "filling". I know this now. I know this.
Step 11 - Sprinkle on icing sugar
Except wait for the tarts to cool first. I didn't.
If you are feeling fancy (and if you didn't burn them) you can brush the back of your topper characters with some melted butter and sprinkle on some powdered sugar now. This was my initial intention... but there didn't seem much point with the backs being solid black and all.
Step 12 - Add the toppers to the tarts
Using a sharp knife, cut a little slit in the filling for the toppers, pop 'em in and voila! An adorable assortment of Pokepies to delight your friends on your next hunting expedition!
If you liked this recipe/tutorial (charring aside), please tweet, pin, instagram, etc. with the buttons below, and leave me a comment. As always I love to hear your feedback, ideas for future pies, and if you take a stab at making this design (even if you burn them), lemme know and I may feature you on my Ins-pie-ration blog!
Thanks for reading :)
π > ∞
Jessica (aka @ThePieous)