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Get ready for BLACK FRIDAY FRENZY starting November 7th! Make sure you check your email!
Get ready for BLACK FRIDAY FRENZY starting November 7th! Make sure you check your email!

Boston Cream Pie

A Boston cream pie is a round cake that is split and filled with a custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate. Although it is called a Boston cream pie, it is in fact a cake, and not a pie. Created by French chef M. Sanzian at Boston's Parker House Hotel, this pudding and cake combination comprises two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière. The cake is topped with a chocolate glaze (such as ganache) and sometimes powdered sugar or a cherry. The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts, declared as such in 1996 (according to Wikipedia). According to my is good)))) This Boston Cream Pie recipe from my mother's 1950 Betty Crocker Cookbook was actually a combination of three recipes. The instructions were:

Make a one-egg cake, pp 124, 125, in one round 9" layer pan. Split into 2 thin layers. Put together with cooled Cream Filing (p. 172). Spread Thin Chocolate Icing over top. Serve like pie.

Sounds simple enough! And actually it just required several steps to finish. Most of the Betty Crocker cake recipes give measurements for a large cake or small (one layer) cake. This isn't something you see in today's cookbooks for the most part.

Light Yellow Cake (Small Cake)

Grease and flour 2 8" layer pans or 9" square pan

Cream together until fluffy...

3/8 cup soft shortening (half butter for flavor)

1 1/4 cup sugar

Beat in thoroughly...

1 egg (1/4 cup)

Sift together...

1 7/8 cup sifted flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Stir in alternately with...

7/8 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Pour into prepared pans. bake until cake tests done. Cool. Finish with filling and frosting as desired.

Temperature: 350 degrees (moderate oven)

Time: Bake layers 30 to 35 minutes, square or oblong 35-40 minutes

I chose a spring-form pan to bake my cake in since it was a bit larger than my round cake pans. A spring-form pan is really easy to use.

Just put the two pieces together and close the outside clamp. Even though this pan was supposed to be "non-stick" I greased and floured anyway. I usually prepare the pan by using a stick of butter or margarine and grease the bottom and inside of the pan (Not using the whole stick! Just enough to coat the pan.))) The sprinkle flour all around and gently shake and roll the pan around to get all the edges coated. Then tap the pan gently upside down over the sink the shake away the excess flour.

Follow the recipe and mix the ingredients. Turn the oven on so it can pre-heat.

Pour the batter into you pan and gently run a knife through the batter. It will help remove air bubbles. You can also set the cake pan down firmly in the counter top a couple of times to help remove air bubbles.

While you cake is baking, complete the next step of your Boston Cream Pie.....the cream filling.

Cream Filling

(for small cake)

Mix together in top of double boiler ...

3 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cornstarch

1/3 tsp. salt

3/4 cup rich milk or cream

Bring to boil over direct heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute...

Remove from heat. Pour a little over ....

3 egg yolks slightly beaten

Blend into hot mixture. Cook over boiling water, stirring until thick (2 minutes).

Remove from heat. Add ...

1 tsp. vanilla

Note: chill until it sets.

Once your cake has baked, set it aside for cooling. Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing the sides or transferring to another dish.

With a spring-form pan you just unclamp the side latch and remove the side portion. Then all you have to do is turn it upside down on to a plate, the back right side up to your serving dish.

The next step is to slice the cake layer in half. There are different ways of doing this, but I like to use the toothpick method. You can take dental floss and split the cake layer horizontally by moving the floss in a back and forth motion....but I think toothpicks are the best.

Just position toothpicks halfway of the cake layer placing them 1 to 2 " apart. Go all the way around the cake layer.

Once the toothpicks are in place, use a long, serrated knife and lay the blade on top of the toothpicks as a guide. Using a short sawing motion, turn the cake stand with your left hand and slowly cut all the way through the cake. Lay the slice off to the side and remove the toothpicks.

Brush away the excess crumbs. My cake was a little browner than I would have time will take it out of the oven a little earlier.

By this time your cream filling should be chilled and ready to spread on the cut layer. Just pour the majority of it in the center of the cake and spread to the outside with a knife. You want the filling to come all the way out to the edge. Hanging over the edge is better that falling short of reaching the edge.

Place the top layer back on and position for the best fit.

Brush away any stray crumbs.

Next it's time to make your icing or ganache.

Thin Chocolate Icing

(For Boston Cream Pie, Cream Puffs, and such...)

Melt together over hot water ....

1 sq. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz).

1 tsp butter

Remove from over the hot water.

Blend in...

2 tbsp boiling water

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

Beat only until smooth, but not stiff

Spread the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drizzle down the side if it's thin enough. If it becomes stiff too quickly, you can run the knife in hot water to help smooth the icing.

boston cream pie


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