Stunt food. You know, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Double Down. The burger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Pretzels stuffed with cheesesteaks. Deep-fried beer. Bacon on anything and everything. And now, straight outta Philly: The Pumpple Cake. What in the name of all that is holy is this thing?
It’s two made-from-scratch pies (apple and pumpkin), baked inside of two cakes (chocolate and vanilla), made structurally sound by a heavy application of French buttercream. Flying Monkey Patisserie in Reading Terminal Market, which Elizabeth “Baker E” Halen recently took over from original owner Rebecca Michaels, is responsible for this sign the apocalypse is nigh creation, which she’s calling the “dessert equivalent of a turducken.” It’s available at the RTM Monkey location only, for $8 a slice. Or you can order a full 9-inch version, with 72 hours advance notice, for $75 (12 slices).
Like most stunt food, it’s a clever marketing gimmick — clever enough to get picked up by Gawker — but do marketing gimmicks taste good? The Restaurant Club’s Testing, Testing crew took out a few slices for a spin. We all liked the apple pie — it was moist, fragrant and remained remarkably intact. The pumpkin pie: unanimously disliked for being dry and “not custardy.” The cakes were also on the dry side. And the buttercream, of which there was a lot, could have used some stronger flavoring (vanilla? something?).
The verdict: Unless you want to try one just to say you did, move along.
Flying Monkey, Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch Streets, 215-928-0340
*Pummple cake photo by Jessica Vermeer Hawkes.