It’s always fun to come across recipes that have unusual names. Sometimes, you can figure out why the recipe’s called what it is by the ingredients. Other times, it may be because it reflects the tastes of a certain region. This is where today’s recipe is leading, and we’re looking at a treat from Boston, Massachusetts….”Boston Cream Pie”.
This is a dessert that not many people make at home anymore, for some reason. To be honest, I’ve not made it in years. Yet, I’ve come across a recipe for it that I’ve made and it makes a good and easy dessert. The background of this interesting dessert is not very surprising. According to Wikepidia, it states: “A Boston cream pie is a cake that is 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 Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in 1856, this pudding and cake combination comprises two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla flavored 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. However, it is not mass-produced in Boston.”
Now that we know how the recipe came about and it’s unusual name, let’s make one! This version of this dessert begins very easily with a box of Pound Cake Mix. The only brand I’ve been able to find in the stores easily is the Betty Crocker brand. You prepare the mix with milk and egg yolks. Egg whites are beaten and folded in. The batter is then baked in two layer pans or one springform pan. If you’re not good at handling layers, the springform pan method works well, though you would need to split the cake crosswise to make two layers.
The vanilla custard is completely from scratch. You’ll see in the recipe that it calls for two whole eggs. This is very unusual for custard, since normally only the yolks are used. But, made as directed, it still produces a creamy, smooth custard. The custard should be prepared in advance and chilled, since it’s much easier to place between the cake layers when the custard is cold.
The chocolate glaze goes over the entire cake and it’s also scratch-made. The only thing about this glaze that I would advise being especially aware of is that this glaze will thicken very quickly when you make it. Therefore, have the dessert assembled and the glaze ready to go on it immediately and work quickly. Otherwise, the glaze will harden before you get it on the cake.
Chill the cake for at least two hours before serving and you’ll have an attractive and yummy dessert! This will serve about ten, so this may be one to remember when you’re having company or have to take a dessert to a function. Store the cake under refrigeration with an airtight cover.
Speaking of interesting names for recipes, I ran an article a while back for a bread called “Charlie Bread”, which is a cornbread recipe that’s quite good and slightly different from the traditional version. To get the recipe, follow this link:
If you’ve never had “Boston Cream Pie” before, let this recipe introduce you to it! If you’ve had it before, here’s your chance to become reacquainted with it!
BOSTON CREAM PIE
1 pkg. Pound Cake Mix
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
Prepare the Pound Cake Mix according to package directions, using milk and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff (but not dry) and fold into the batter. Pour batter into 2 9-inch layer cake pans that have been greased and lined with waxed paper, or 1 9-inch springform pan that’s also been greased and lined with waxed paper. Bake the layers at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cakes test done in the center. Bake the springform cake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a spatula and turn out onto cake racks, removing the waxed paper*. Cool completely.
To assemble, sprinkle sides of cake with confectioner’s sugar. Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread evenly with vanilla custard. Top with second layer and spread with glaze. Chill until serving time, or at least 2 hours. Yield: 10 servings.
*If the cake was baked in a springform pan, release the cake from the pan and slice crosswise into 2 layers. Proceed as above.
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in about half of the custard into the eggs. Mix well and return this mixture to the custard in the saucepan. Reduce heat to low, blend well and cook until mixture thickens. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and the butter, blending well. Cool, then chill completely.
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons boiling water
Melt the chocolate with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add the sugar and boiling water, stirring well until smooth. Glaze the cake immediately.