Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Pumpkin Pie Cutters

Some years ago, I got it into my head that just as there are cookie cutters for cookies, there should be pie cutters for pumpkin pie. I bought the deepest tree-shaped cookie cutters I could find, thinking I could stack them and produce festive pie pieces for a holiday party. It didn't go as planned. I couldn't get the stacking to work, and the result of using just one cutter was kind of a disaster:
Nevertheless, proof of concept! 

I found that the KindredDesignsCA shop at Etsy offered custom-made 3D-printed cookie cutters. They agreed to make extra-deep cutters for me, one in the shape of a tree, another in the shape of a snowflake. The cutters worked great, except that once I'd extracted a piece of pumpkin pie with a cutter, the pie stuck inside the cutter. I had KindredDesignsCA make plungers so that I could push the pie out of the cutters:

I was so pleased with the result (shown at the top of this post), I started looking for new pie-cutter-shape ideas. For reasons not worth going into, I hit upon the idea of US states, and the next thing I knew, I was looking at pieces of pumpkin pie that looked like California, Texas, and Minnesota:
This year I decided that for Thanksgiving dinner, it would be nice to have pieces of pumpkin pie that looked like turkeys and pumpkins, so KindredDesignsCA again did their 3D magic for me:
I learned a few new things from these latest cutters. One was that it's a bad idea to try to get too detailed. Check out the well-defined beak in the turkey cutter below...

...and compare it to the poorly-defined or broken-off beaks in the pieces of turkey-shaped pie above. We're sculpting with pumpkin pie here, so just because you can produce a cutter with well-defined details doesn't mean you can get those details to be retained in the pieces of pie you cut.  

On the other hand, I was worried about the narrow strips of pie for the turkey's legs holding together, and they came out fine.

So far, I've employed these cutters only for pumpkin pie, but a friend and I were musing about what else they could be used for. Ideas include sponge cake, gingerbread, pancakes, hamburger patties, ice cream sandwiches, and gelatin. Plus cookies, of course. In the end, they're just overly-deep cookie cutters with plungers.

As far as I know, the only drawback to these cutters is that they require hand washing. The material used for the 3D printing has a comparatively low melting point, so if they were to be put into a dishwasher, you'd likely end up with pie cutter goo all over everything.


Anonymous said...

Re dishwasher conjecture: Sounds like it’s just aching for an empirical “don’t guess, measure” experiment! 😁

Scott Meyers said...

@Anonymous: I encourage you to perform the experiments and report back with your results :-)