The Original Boston Cream Pie

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The Original Boston Cream Pie Recipe

Omni Parker House Original Boston Cream Pie
  • The Original Boston Cream Pie Recipe

The Boston Cream Pie is a timeless, culinary creation dating back to 1856. The dessert was first created and served at the grand opening of Bostons Parker House, now widely known as Omni Parker House, nestled in downtown Boston, MA. Today, the Boston Cream Pie is distinguished as Massachusetts official state dessert over Toll House Cookies and the Fig Newton.

The Original Boston Cream Pie Or Cake

This cake-like pie was first created in 1856 by chef M. Sanzian, who was the chef for the Parker House Hotel in Boston. Therefore, adding the word ‘Boston’ before the name of the dessert seemed like common sense, as it was the location of its origination, and that’s the least confusing part of this whole story. However, the dessert still was not a pie, or at least not what we would consider being a pie today. There was no crust and no filling, so to speak, and the inside of the pie was actually cake. Rather, it was a traditional layer cake that had pastry cream throughout each individual layer – which was eventually replaced with a thick, rich custard – with no inkling of it even being related to pie.

That wasn’t all this cake had to offer, though. In addition to the layers of pastry cream and cake, a brushing of rum was added to each layer before slivered almonds were used to decorate the exterior of the cake… which was called a pie. Despite all of that, however, the one thing that caught people’s attention – and made the pie as popular as it was – was the addition of chocolate icing that adorned the top of the pie. Go figure, right? This should have cemented the fact that the pie was actually a cake even further, but it didn’t. Rather, the ‘pie’ term caught on and there wasn’t even a question as to why everyone was just complacent with a pie that had layers, chocolate icing, and a cake base.


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.

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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.

Film Television And Acting

The Original Boston Creme Pie from Omni Parker house ...

New England has a rich history in dating back to the dawn of the era at the turn of the 20th century, sometimes dubbed by film critics. A theater at 547 Washington Street in Boston was the second location to debut a picture projected by the , and shortly thereafter several novels were being adapted for the screen and set in New England, including and . The New England region continued to churn out films at a pace above the national average for the duration of the 20th century, including blockbuster hits such as , and , all of which won . The New England area became known for a number of themes that recurred in films made during this era, including the development of yankee characters, smalltown life contrasted with city values, seafaring tales, family secrets and haunted New England. These themes are rooted in centuries of New England culture and are complemented by the region’s diverse natural landscape and architecture, from the and brilliant fall foliage to church steeples and skyscrapers.

Since the turn of the millennium, Boston and the greater New England region have been home to the production of numerous films and television series, thanks in part to tax incentive programs put in place by local governments to attract filmmakers to the region.

Notable actors and actresses that have come from the New England area include , , , , , , , , , , and . A full list of those from Massachusetts can be , and a listing of notable films and television series produced in the area .

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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.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Brooklyn, New YorkThe Elsen sisters have made a huge splash in the Brooklyn baking scene on the strength of their incredible pies, honed in the cold of their motherland South Dakota and brought to stunning life out east. Theyll ship pies pretty much everywhere, meaning you can get a taste of their Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan, the comfort-food-plus Salted Caramel Apple, and the Black Bottom Oat anywhereeven South Dakota.

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French Butter Sponge Cake

Ive always loved Boston cream pie, which isnt really a pie at all, but two layers of buttery yellow cake filled with pastry cream and topped with a chocolate glaze. I find the luscious textures and flavors irresistible. But I always wondered what the history of the dessert wasand why it was called a pie. While researching my cookbook, Baking in America, I did some sleuthing and discovered that the pie is really the marriage of an elegant 19th-century hotel restaurant dessert and a simple, old-fashioned American home treat.

The Parker House Hotel in Boston was undoubtedly the birthplace of Boston cream pie. The first chief cook there, a Frenchman named Sanzian, probably created the Parker House Chocolate Cream Pietwo layers of classic French butter sponge cake filled with a thick layer of silky-smooth rum-flavored pastry cream, surrounded by pastry cream on the sides, and coated with toasted almonds. What really made it special was its glaze of chocolate fondant , which was embellished with swirls of white fondant. And fondant was precisely why this creation was entirely too complicated for the 19th-century home cook to make.

But gone were the butter sponge cake, the rum, the fondant icing, and the almonds. So when I set out to create a recipe honoring the showstopping original , I brought back the butter sponge cake, the rum-flavored pastry cream, and the almond-studded sides, but I replaced the fondants with an easy chocolate ganache and confectioners sugar icing.

Recipe: Parker House’s Boston Cream Pie

How to Make The Most Amazing Boston Cream Pie | The Stay At Home Chef

The venerable Boston hotel’s famed pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts.

Boston Cream Pie

5 oz. Fondant for white icing6 oz. Fondant for chocolate icing3 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Substitution for Fondant Icing:

6 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate, melted2 oz. Warm water

1 cup 10X Sugar 1 tsp. Corn syrup1 tsp. Water


Bring to a boil in a saucepan the butter, milk and light cream. While this mixture is cooking, combine the sugar, cornstarch and eggs in a bowl and whip until ribbons form. When the cream-milk-butter mixture reaches the boiling point, whisk in the egg mixture and cook to boiling. Boil for one minute. Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill overnight if possible. When chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with 1 tsp. dark rum.

Level the sponge cake off at the top using a slicing knife. Cut the cake into two layers. Spread the flavored pastry cream over one layer. Top with the second cake layer. Reserve a small amount of the pastry cream to spread on sides to adhere to almonds.

For chocolate fondant: Warm 6 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Add melted chocolate. Thin to spreading consistency with water.

For white fondant: Warm 5 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Thin with water if necessary. Place in a piping bag with a 1/8-inch tip.

For more info:

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Revolution And The Siege Of Boston

A south east view of the great town of Boston in New England in America

The weather continuing boisterous the next day and night, giving the enemy time to improve their works, to bring up their cannon, and to put themselves in such a state of defence, that I could promise myself little success in attacking them under all the disadvantages I had to encounter.

,in a letter to , about the British army’s decision to leave Boston, dated March 21, 1776.

Many of the crucial events of the occurred in or near Boston. Boston’s penchant for mob action along with the colonists’ growing lack of faith in either or fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city. When the British parliament passed the in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of , the official tasked with enforcing the Act, and , then the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists. This did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the , British troops shot into a crowd that had started to violently harass them. The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was widely publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America.

Origin Of A Classic: Boston Cream Pie

Its cream filled, chocolate topped, and beloved. Who cares if this storied dessert is actually a cake? Find the recipe for our Amaretto Boston Cream Pie, here!

When you think about Boston cream pie, think of Ho Chi Minh. The dessertlayers of pastry surrounding a spill of custard, the top glazed in chocolateis often said to have been invented at Bostons Omni Parker House, where the future Communist revolutionary worked as a baker around 1912. His marble-topped pastry table can still be seen on display at the hotel. Imagine it: A jazz band plays in an ornate dining room, while politicians and upper-class swells dine on scrod, baked beans, and a confection once prepared for guests by a man who would go on to fight for Communism and lead North Vietnam. How rich.

In those days, pies and cakes were baked in the same kind of pan, and baking terminology was a little more loosey-goosey. What is absolutely certain about Boston cream pie is this: it is not a pie at all, but a cake.

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Boston Has The Omni Parker House To Thank For Its Beloved Cream Pie

The Boston cream pie is as woven into the fabric of Beantown as the Boston accent. Whats now revered as the state dessert was once merely a simple cake produced at the Parker House.

Bostonians are quick to remark that the Boston cream pie is a charming, storied slice of the citys history. These days, its just as ubiquitous in Beantown as clam chowder, cannoli, baked beans and oysters, and is found in forms that arent merely cake, but shaped into donuts and churned into ice cream.

The Boston cream pie has long been a staple, thanks to the Omni Parker House Hotel and chef Augustine François Anezin. Anezin arrived in Boston from France in the mid-19th century, armed with a Rolodex of French specialties: green turtle soup, roasted beef and fowl speared onto spits and spun over coals, silky mayonnaise and ham sunk in champagne sauce. He transformed the newly opened restaurant into a fine-dining destination, introducing and perfecting a host of dishes in the Parker House kitchen.

It was Anezin and his staff who dreamt up the Boston cream pie, looking at popular American desserts for inspiration, like American pudding-cake pie and Washington pie, cakes that were sliced into two layers and swiped with a filling in between. But one of the biggest differences between the then haute desserts and the Boston cream pie was the introduction of chocolate.

Water Purity And Availability


Many older buildings in certain areas of Boston are supported by wooden piles driven into the area’s fill these piles remain sound if submerged in water, but are subject to if exposed to air for long periods.Ground water levels have been dropping in many areas of the city, due in part to an increase in the amount of rainwater discharged directly into sewers rather than absorbed by the ground. The Boston Groundwater Trust coordinates monitoring ground water levels throughout the city via a network of public and private monitoring wells. However, Boston’s drinking water supply from the and is one of the very few in the country so pure as to satisfy the Federal without filtration.

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