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Boston Cream Pie

by Chef Megan Joy on April 21, 2013

In light of all the events that happened this past week in Boston, I turned to my kitchen to process the sadness. This may be a high altitude baking blog, but I felt compelled to make something,  just to let Boston know we are thinking of them- whether it’s in Colorado or elsewhere.

I was going to make Boston Cream Pie pancakes- fluffy vanilla pancakes layered with vanilla custard and topped with a drizzle of chocolate glaze. My thinking was they’d be great for brunch, dessert, or a late night snack. But as I was looking at recipes and getting some ideas, I realized I really just wanted to make original Boston Cream Pie. It’s the official dessert of Massachusetts, and a classic- fluffy, spongy cake, cool vanilla custard, and rich chocolate glaze.

This has always been one of my dad’s favorite desserts, according to my mom. My dad is a sucker for cakes filled with fluffy, whipped cream fillings or smooth, creamy custards. Rightfully so, too. The contrasting texture of the cake and filling are a delight to eat and ensure that no bite is ever dry.

So take a minute and reflect on everyone you love in your life, and how fortunate you are to have them with you today. And send a little prayer out to all of those who are still hurting and healing. May we find some peace again soon.

 

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How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Boston Cream Pie
Cake and glaze recipes adapted from King Arthur Flour

Boston Cream Pie
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
 
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Custard:
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3¼ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Glaze:
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. To make the cake: preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for several minutes, until thick, fluffy, and light in color.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the milk and butter to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Stream the hot milk-butter mixture into the whipped eggs and sugar while continuing to whisk.
  5. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the bowl all at once and whisk until just combined.
  7. Grease a 9" round cake pan (make sure it is at least 2" deep) and line with parchment paper.
  8. Pour the cake batter in and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is springy and a light golden brown.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the custard: combine the milk and sugar over medium heat.
  11. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together.
  12. When the milk mixture starts to simmer, temper it into the egg yolk mixture and return back to medium-low heat.
  13. Whisk constantly until the custard thickens and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
  14. Strain, if desired, and chill immediately.
  15. To make the glaze: in a pot over medium-low heat, stir the heavy cream, corn syrup, and chocolate pieces together until melted and smooth.
  16. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  17. To assemble the cake: Using a serrated knife, carefully split the cake in half. Spread one half with the custard and top with the remaining cake.
  18. Pour the warm glaze over the top and serve immediately. Leftovers can be refrigerated.

Note: This recipe was adjusted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase the sugar in the cake recipe to 1 1/2 cups, increase the cake flour to 1 1/2 cups (eliminate the all-purpose flour completely), and increase the baking powder to 1 1/2 teaspoons.

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