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Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie is a classic American dessert that’s really not a pie at all. It’s a sponge cake, layered with a custard center, and topped with a river of chocolate ganache. Its origins hail back to the late 1880s, when a French chef at Boston’s Parker House Hotel created it. Apparently, cakes used to be baked in pie tins back then, hence the name.  I was inspired to try a recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook, “Modern Comfort Food,” but made a couple of changes. The first was cooking it in a springform pan and cutting it into the traditional two layers, not four as her recipe calls for. I also took a shortcut and didn’t make the pastry cream from scratch, substituting a box of instant vanilla pudding with some whipping cream added in. I took the photos the first time I made it during a big snowstorm, but I’ve made it again several times and it always disappears quicker than a melting snowflake.

I topped it with a little gold leaf just to gussy it up a little, but the taste is so good, it really doesn’t need any help. Please use all the liquid called for in the soak. It may seems ike a lot, but the cakes just absorb it all and the flavor it adds is crucial.


Boston Cream Pie
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • FOR THE SOAK:
  • ⅓ Cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur
  • FOR THE PASTRY CREAM:
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon instant coffee granules
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter a 8 or 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, buttering that too.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the pan, then tap out the excess.
  4. For the cake, scald the milk and butter in a small pan over medium heat.
  5. Off the heat, add the vanilla and orange zest.
  6. Cover the pan and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high speed for 4 minutes, until thick and light yellow and the mixture falls back on itself in a ribbon.
  9. By hand first whisk in the warm milk mixture and then slowly whisk in the flour mixture.
  10. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  11. Pour the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let the cake cool in the pan, then release the sides and place on a baking rack.
  13. Cool to room temperature.
  14. FOR THE SOAK
  15. Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
  16. Off the heat, add the orange liqueur and set aside.
  17. FOR THE PASTRY CREAM:
  18. Follow the directions on the pudding box, but instead of using 2 cups milk, mix the powder with 1½ cups milk.
  19. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold into the pastry cream.
  20. FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
  21. Combine the havy cream, chocolate, corn syrup, vanilla and coffee in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally with a spoon, just until the chocolates melt.
  22. Remove from the heat and set aside for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is thick enough to fall back on itself in a ribbon.
  23. TO ASSEMBLE:
  24. Cut the cake in half horizontally.
  25. Put the bottom layer back in the springform pan.
  26. Brush half of the orange liqueur soak over the cake.
  27. Spread the pastry cream over the cake.
  28. Place the second layer over the pastry cream and brush with the rest of the orange liqueur soak.
  29. Pour the chocolate ganache on the cake, allowing it to drip down over the sides of the cake.
  30. Place in the refrigerator to firm everything, then serve.
  31. Spread the pastry cream
 

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. One of my favorites! My mom used to make this when we were kids and used pudding, too. I might have to make one soon!

  2. I haven’t had this in years and don’t recall it ever having the orange flavor. What a great idea and it looks scrumptious!

  3. I love Boston Cream Pie! It was one of the first desserts I made when I was learning to cook from my Betty Crocker Cookbook. I wanted to challenge myself with something other than the banana bread recipe. It didn’t look as good as your Boston Cream Pie but it did taste good. I’m going to have to try your recipe for Paddy’s Day. xoxo

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