Boston Cream Pie

Today’s newspaper clipping is similar to others found in “the very old book” that was originally tagged the Girl’s Trade School. I tried doing a little searching to find the Girl’s Trade School in Wisconsin, but google thinks I’m looking for “girl’s grade school” even though I’m not. Sigh. I’ll keep after it in my spare time.

Boston cream pie is a layer cake, really, made up of cake, custard and chocolate topping. If you have ever watched the Great British Baking Show, you will recognize some of the original terms used to describe this dessert: a French butter sponge topped with creme patissiere, a second sponge layer, all topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. The Boston Cream Pie originated in the second half of the 19th century, and was interchangeably called cake and pie. Apparently cakes and pies were baked in the same tins and could be called either name. I have never heard that.

The recipe seems to be just for the cake portion of the dessert. For this recipe, once you make the cake, leave it to cool for about 30 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely. You can even put them into the refrigerator or freezer while you work on the custard and topping. Some cake recipes will have you bake the cake in one pan and then split it. I find that so difficult, so perhaps making it in two thinner layers is a good idea. Also, a moderate oven is 350.

If, like me, you have never made a chocolate topping for Boston Cream Pie, it seems like it would be intimidating. I found a few different websites with information on the chocolate topping and the custard filling. Custard is easy though. Don’t cook it too long and let it cool completely before assembling your cake.

Boston Cream Pie

1/3 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 1/2 cups pastry flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 egg whites beaten

Cream the butter and sugar. Add yolks, vanilla, salt, milk, flour and baking powder. Beat two minutes. Fold in egg whites. Pour into two layer cake pans fitted with waxed papers. Bake 20 minutes in moderate oven. Add filling.


More Information

Recipe for all three parts of Boston Cream Pie via Butter With A Side of Bread

Boston Cream Filling via Recipe Genius

Pourable Chocolate Ganache Icing via Martha Stewart

A fun musing about the history of Boston Cream Pie via New England Today

A humorous dive into 19th century food history via Groupon

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