Candy can be a mainstay of Halloween celebrations, but other desserts can also make the festivities even more enjoyable, especially when those desserts coordinate with the Halloween theme.
The word “chibi” means “short and chubby” in Japanese, but it has also spread to refer to characters with particularly cute and baby features. The chibi style lends itself well to pumpkin lantern designs, which many people find cute, short, and chubby. Baking a pumpkin-themed pie is even easier when pumpkin – which is a particularly popular flavor this time of year – is the pie of choice.
Find your favorite pumpkin pie recipe or purchase store-made one and refrigerated pie dough to add a Halloween touch with this instruction guide for “Chibi Pumpkin Pie” courtesy of ” Pies are Awesome: The Definitive Pie Art Book, Step-By- Step Designs for Every Occasion ”(Rock Point) by Jessica Leigh Clark-Boijin.
- Egg gilding (or almond milk if you’re making a vegan pie)
- Vanilla extract
- Brown, black, green and pink gel food coloring
- Opaque white icing color
- Orange and yellow sanding sugar
- Pie mold of your choice
- Cooking plate
- Food Safe Precision Knife
- Pastry brush
- Food Safe Artist Brushes
- Ramekins or small containers to mix colors and keep the gilding
- Fondant carving tool or toothpick
Since this pie is a literal image of a pumpkin, I think it makes sense for the filling to be pumpkin, but then again, who am I to stifle your creativity? As this pie has a sanding sugar top, you can use any flavor of filling you like and the dough of your choice. You can also use a store-bought pie.
1. Spread the dough of your choice on baking paper and cut out all the pieces of the pumpkin chibi template with a sharp knife. (Note: Make your own template or purchase the book for how to download and print the template for this pie).
2. Coat the pieces with the gilding using a pastry brush. While the dough is still wet, use a fondant carving tool to mark a few lines on the stem and leaf.
3. Glue the leaf on the stem with your egg gilding, then cut three thin strips of dough to make vines. Coat them with egg wash and wrap them around the stem and leaf the way your boat floats. I made a little flourish with one of mine because it reminded me of baby doll hair!
4. Mix your gel colors with a little bit of vanilla extract. Using a food safe brush, paint your parts. If your pie filling is dark enough, consider painting the face pieces yellow, or even leaving them just a paste color. If the fill background is light, like this sanding sugar pattern, choose a dark color like black. Paint the stem green and the cheeks pink. To make the stem a bit more “natural” I gave it a quick wash with a more diluted green color to let some of the natural paste show through. Bake the pieces at 400 F for about 8 minutes (your oven may need a little more or less time).
5. Bake your base pie now and flatten it about 2 inches at the top of the filling to accommodate the stem. If using a store-bought pie, break off the filling a bit so that the stem can lay flat.
6. Once your pie shell has cooled and you are ready to serve, add your sanding sugar. I did a little shaded effect with yellow at the top passing to orange at the bottom, but it’s you! A solid color will look cool too. The last step is to add the face. To get the real chibi effect, place the eyes below the midline of the face.