My family’s Thanksgiving meal always features a magnificently high homemade pie-to-person ratio. I love the warm wafting scent of spices, pumpkin, and expertly rolled-out crusts emanating from a hot oven, and that anticipation of dessert after any already delicious dinner spent with friends and family feasting. Is your belly rumbling already too?
For this week’s How-Tuesday post, Jessica Partain from Inedible Jewelry, a shop dedicated to mouth-wateringly realistic faux food jewelry, and author of The Polymer Clay Cookbook, has shared with us a tutorial on making miniature polymer clay pumpkin pie charms that actually smell like pumpkin pie. Jessica will also be joining us on Monday, November 14 at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn (RSVP), and on the Online Labs, to lead a Craft Night on the same topic. I hope you can join us in NYC, or online!
Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie! It never matters how much turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, nutty mushroom vegetarian loafy thing, or salad, green beans, and other dishes we eat: we all always still have room for pie. That’s why we always make at least two pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving, and why this recipe makes eight charms — perfect for a necklace, charm bracelet, or individual gifts. The whipped cream is optional, of course.
Purchase The Polymer Clay Cookbook right here on Etsy.
For the crust:
3/8″ (9.5 mm) ball ecru clay
3/16″ (4.7 mm) ball ecru clay
For the filling:
5/8″ (15.9 mm) ball orange clay
For the whipped cream:
3/8″ (9.5 mm) ball white clay
Raw sienna soft pastel
Large double-ball stylus or needle tool
Tissue blade or razor blade
8 figure-eight loops
1. We’ll make this pie from the inside out, starting with the filling. Thoroughly mix the orange clay with a big pinch of allspice. It’s easiest if you first flatten the clay, then roll it with the allspice into a log and flatten it again. Keep working the clay; the spice will eventually mix in to make your orange a bit darker.
2. Roll the spicy orange clay into a smooth ball, then flatten it into a thick pancake about the size of two stacked quarters. Make sure it’s flat and even on top; you don’t want a bowl in the middle. Wash your hands and tile to remove any orange.
3. Roll the larger ball of ecru clay into a smooth ball, then flatten it into an even, thin pancake about 3/16″ (4.7 mm) larger than the filling on all sides. Place the filling in the middle of the flat crust, pressing the center to remove any air bubbles between the filling and crust.
4. Gently fold up the edges of the crust until they are even with the top of the pie filling.
5. Roll the pie like a wheel to smooth and flatten the side, as well as to bind the crust to the filling.
6. Roll the smaller ball of ecru clay into a narrow snake the same length as the circumference of the pie crust. Add it around the top of the pie.
7. Use the side of a stylus or needle tool to make evenly spaced indentations all around the edge of the crust.
8. Rub the raw sienna pastel against a scrap piece of paper until a small pile of powder forms. Dip your paintbrush in the powder and dab on a browned, baked look all over the crust. It doesn’t need to be completely even — in fact, it will look more realistic if it isn’t. Wash your hands, the paintbrush, and your tile before moving on.
9. Slice the pie in half with a tissue blade, then into quarters, and then into eighths.
10. Insert a figure-eight loop into each slice. Insert the loop vertically until the bottom loop is entirely within the clay, then twist it 90 degrees until it is horizontal.
11. Press down on the filling to secure the loop in place.
12. Make a puff of whipped cream, if you’d like (see below). Add a drop of liquid clay to the underside of the whipped cream and gently press it into place.
13. Bake for 15 minutes at 275˚ F (135˚ C).
To Make a Pumpkin Pie
1. Wrap a 4mm copper accent bead above each of the eight pie wedges, and close off the top loops.
2. String the pies onto beading wire or braided nylon with copper-lined size 11 seed beads.
Whip Up Some Whipped Cream
Whipped cream is easiest to make when the clay is a bit stiff.
1. Roll out a thin log of white clay, about 1″ (2.54 cm) long. Flatten the log in your hands (not on your tile).
2. Pinch either end of the flattened log and twist to create a spiral.
3. Starting with one end, coil the spiral into a puff of whipped cream. You’ll probably need to repeat these steps from the beginning for each dollop of whipped cream, since the spiral quickly gets stretched out and deformed.
If you make your own tiny pie, share a photo with us in the Etsy Labs Flickr group.