A 19th Century New England Classic Winning Modern
Last week I wrote about Mississippi Mud Pie. Shifting 1,300 miles to the northeast, we arrive at this other great American pie. Or maybe I should say non-pie, because although both have long had pie in their names, neither of the two really fits into the typical, flaky-pastry-crust-with-a-fruit-or-nut-fillingkind of way. Even scholar Evan Jones, in his wonderful book American Food, admits that, the fact that it is really a cake disguised by this misnomer remains unexplained.em> Name aside, what we do know is that Mississippi Mud Pie and Boston Cream Pie are both terrific! And both have a history rooted in a single states folklorein December 1996, while we were preparing for our 14th holiday season at Zingermans, the state of Massachusetts quietly declared Boston Cream Pie to be the official state dessert. I missed the announcement back then, but now, Im happy to say we take full advantage of the Bay States culinary legacy all the way out here in Ann Arbor.
The History Of Boston Cream Pie
Boston Cream Pie started, guess where? Ding ding ding, thats right, Boston!
It was created by a French chef at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, Massachussetts, in the late 1800s.
Originally, the cake layers were soaked in rum, and the sides of the cake were garnished with toasted almonds.
But for todays recipe, Ive kept things simple. I think this is more what most of us think of when we hear Boston Cream Pie, and I know its the way my dad most enjoyed it.
Pro Tips For This Recipe
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you dont have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the cake in half. If youre worried about cutting it evenly, place toothpicks a few inches apart around the equator. Use them as a guide for your knife. Its also okay if its not perfect! It will taste great either way.
- Use room temperature eggs for the pastry cream and sponge cake. This will help the cream cook faster and the cake to whip up better for a fluffier texture.
- Try using Herseys Special Dark chocolate bars for the ganache because it gives a deep dark chocolate color and shiny texture. If youve got bittersweet chocolate chips or baking bars in your cabinet, those will work great too! Add a tablespoon of corn syrup to the ganache for a shiny finish.
- Slice finished cake with a warm, non-serrated knife for clean cuts.
- Cook the pastry cream for a minute or two while whisking to help thicken it.
- Unlike more traditional sponge cakes that call for folding in whipped egg whites, this version uses what is referred to as a hot-milk method. Its more fool-proof when baking and results in a very flavorful cake.
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What Youll Need For This Recipe
Vanilla: You can use a vanilla extract or if you want to see the little specks in your pastry cream use vanilla bean paste or a vanilla bean.
Cream: You can make the ganache with JUST chocolate and whipping cream but adding a tablespoon or two of light corn syrup will make it super-shiny and smooth.
Eggs: Large eggs are preferable and always make sure they are room temperature.
But Seriously Why A Pie
This is where things begin to make sense before they become confusing once again. It’s safe to assume, at this point, that cake could also be called a pie during the 19th century. At least, that’s the only thing that makes sense considering Boston Cream Pie was said to have gotten its name from Washington Pie which, surprisingly, was almost the same dessert. While Washington Pie was a throwback to early America, this is where the idea came to create a new dessert that was similar, yet updated. What’s even more surprising is that the Boston Cream Pie that was created in 1856 is exactly how we eat it today, with the exception of powdered sugar over the top.
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A Total Classic: Boston Cream Pie Layers Of Moist Vanilla Cake Filled With A Sweet Vanilla Custard And Topped With Dark Chocolate Glaze Such A Crowd
Fathers Day is right around the corner, and I always like to mark the occasion with desserts that my own dad loved.
And I have so many memories of him LOVING the Boston Cream Pies my mom would sometimes buy from the freezer section.
So I figured this year, its about time I honor him with a homemade, from-scratch version of one of his most beloved desserts.
Best Boston Cream Pie
- price 3 of 4
The Omni Parker House Hotel is one of the most historic in the city. It was here, at Parkers Restaurant, where the Boston cream pie was born. This creamy, delicious traditional version consists of a light sponge cake filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate. Walk off the calorites by checking out the hotels historic environs and interesting memorabilia.
- South End
- price 2 of 4
Joanne Changs beloved spot for pastries and baked goods offers a delicious, artfully-crafted version of the Boston cream pie. Layers of fluffy yellow cake and vanilla cream are toppped with a smooth chocolate ganache and coffee syrup.
- North End
- price 1 of 4
Bovas opened in the North End in 1932 and has remained a family-owned business all these years. Their Boston cream pie is a richer version, made with both vanilla and chocolate cream, and topped with a thick ganache. Best of all, Bovas is open 24 hours, perfect for a late-night cream pie craving.
- Seaport District
- price 2 of 4
As the flagship location within the iconic Legal Sea Foods empire, Legal Harborside offers three floors of different dining experiences, all with sweeping views of Boston Harbor. Choose the first floor dining room for a bustling, casual, and classic seafood experience that includes a near-classic version of the Boston cream pie featuring custard, yellow sponge cake and rich bittersweet chocolate.
- North End
- price 1 of 4
- North End
- price 1 of 4
- Central Sq
- price 2 of 4
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How To Make Boston Cream Pie Recipe:
STEP ONE: First, make the pastry cream. Then let it chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
STEP TWO: Next, make the yellow cake and pour it into the prepared cake pans. Bake for about 20-25 minutes and then let cool.
STEP THREE: After the cakes are cooled, assemble the cake by placing one cake in the center of the cake plate. Then spread the pastry cream evenly onto the cake.
STEP FOUR: Place the second cake round on top of the pastry cream. Set it in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate glaze.
STEP FIVE: Make the chocolate glaze.
STEP SIX: Then, pour the chocolate glaze onto the center of the cake. Spread the glaze to the edge of the cake, allowing some of the glaze to drip down the sides of the cake.
STEP SEVEN: Finally, chill the cake in the fridge for at least three hours.
STEP EIGHT: Slice and serve!
This Could Be The Best Boston Cream Pie Recipe Using Yellow Cake Mix And Not Adding Sugar
For the success of your cake simple follow the steps to first make this cakes, make the filling, assemble the cakes, and then adding the chocolate ganache.Allowing the cakes to cool before layering with the pudding is important as well.
Here are some similar recipes that you may also like.
- Hot Water- 2 ½ tablespoons
How to make this Sugar Free Cake Mix Boston Cream Pie Recipe
There are three parts to this recipe the cake, the filling, and the topping.
- Start by making the yellow cake mix as per the direction on the box or in the recipe. Use two round cake pans. I mentioned earlier that it is important that you double prep the pans to assure that the cakes do not stick.
- To make the center pudding filling, whip together the milk and instant pudding mix. Whip this until somewhat fluffy- about 2-3 minutes total. Then allow this to sit for a few minutes for some of the air to escape. Cover and refrigerate. This can be done while the cakes are baking.
- For the glaze, either use the recipe Chocolate Glaze Using this recipe or in a microwave safe cup, melt together the butter and chocolate chips and then stir in the remaining ingredients until blended.
How to assemble this sugar free yellow cake mix Boston cream pie
The recipe card for Sugar Free Boston Cream Pie.
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The Original Boston Cream Pie
Omni Parker House Hotel ships its famous Boston Cream Pie nationwide on Goldbelly! While technically a cake and not a pie, this chocolate topped golden cake filled with pastry cream is now available in the comfort of your own home for the first time ever.
Not many cities are as tied to a food as Boston is to its eponymous Boston Cream Pie, the official state dessert of Massachusetts. The Omni Parker House Hotel not only created this piece of deliciousness in 1856, but theyre still serving up the original version in the restaurant nearly 160 years later. Augustine Anezin, the Cream Pies inventor, may be long gone, but his dream still lives on in each and every bite of this masterpiece.
The Historic History Of The Boston Cream Pie
The fact is that this pie is not really a pie at all, but that’s not even the most confusing part about it.
The pie known as Boston Cream takes many forms these days: donuts, cookies, and even cupcakes. However, that doesn’t conceal the fact that the dessert that’s known as ‘pie’ is actually a layered cake… with quite a confusing and long history that’s entangled in early American food culture.
There is an explanation for the cake that’s actually called a pie – two explanations, actually – and while one seems to make sense, the other is a little more out of the box. Or, in this case, out of the pie tin. The original inspiration for the Boston Cream Pie was actually the result of another, similar pie, that was named after the first president of the United States. Therefore, it could be considered to be the all-American dessert, except that it was not the original custard-filled cake. Have the feelings of confusion sunken in yet? Good, because it’s going to be a wild ride as we trace our way back through history to determine when, how, and why this cake was created, and how it became so popular. And, furthermore, why it’s so associated with Boston rather than the entire New England region.
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Boston Cream Pie Fun Facts
The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving and Boston cream pie fun facts. As we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know.
We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled Did You Know?
How To Make Crme Ptissire
Pour the milk and cream into a pan. Add the vanilla pod and seeds, if using.
TIP: If using vanilla extract, add after you remove from heat.
Scald the milk by placing it over a low heat and bringing it to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
TIP: You can tell the milk is scalded when you begin to see bubbles forming at the side of the pan.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until you have a thick creamy consistency. Add the cornflour and mix until well combined.
Now temper the eggs. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture through a sieve to remove any bits.
TIP: Whisk constantly while incorporating the milk into the eggs so they don’t scramble. This is called “tempering” the eggs.
When fully incorporated, return to a clean pan. Place over a medium heat and cook gently, whisking constantly to avoid lumps forming.
As soon as it begins to thicken, this will only take a couple of minutes, take off the heat and keep mixing until it all comes together into a thick smooth creamy consistency with no lumps. This may take an extra minute or two.
Transfer the crème pâtissière to a clean bowl and cover the surface of the crème with cling film to avoid a skin forming. Place in the fridge to cool and set.
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Can You Make Boston Cream Pie Ahead
You can make all the components of this Boston Cream Pie ahead.
The cake layers are adapted from my favorite vanilla cake recipe. Its moist and soft, with a buttery flavor and a delicate texture, and it can be baked up to a few weeks ahead. You can read more about that here: Perfect Vanilla Cake Recipe.
The filling is similar to vanilla pudding, but richer. Its made with egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and cornstarch to help thicken it up. I would definitely recommend making it at least a day ahead, so it has time to chill. You can learn more here: Pastry Cream Filling.
The glaze can be made ahead as well. You can find more info on that here: Chocolate Glaze. Its just 4 simple ingredients, warmed and stirred together until smooth. As it cools, it gets very thick, but it can be re-warmed and drizzled over the Boston Cream Pie after its assembled.
Dont ask me how I know, but I would definitely recommend waiting as long as you can to assemble the cake. If you put it together too far ahead, the exposed filling around the sides will become dry and cracked. Still delicious inside, but not nearly as appetizing to look at!
Assembling The Boston Cream Pie
Once the cake layers are made and cooled completely, you can simply sandwich the two layers together with the Crème Pâtissière . Spread the cooled Chocolate Glaze over the top. Allow it to drizzle over the sides if you wish.
There should be enough pastry cream to generously fill the cake and you can use all of the chocolate glaze too. Boston Cream Pie is a gorgeously rich and delicious American pud.
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