A few days before Thanksgiving my daughter had her 20th
birthday. She requested a Boston Cream Pie for her cake. I don’t like Boston
Cream Pie. I’ve never made one. So, lazy ass that I am, I picked one up from a
Wow, what a disappointment! We’ve had cakes from them in the
past that have been wonderful, but it was a serious disappointment.
Boston Cream Pie is supposed to have a thick custard
filling. The bought cake barely had a layer of filling. It had toasted coconut
around the edge, but I’m guessing that was to disguise the fact there was
virtually no cream filling.
So I decided to make it up to my kidlet and make her a
Boston Cream Pie. I quickly downloaded a Martha Stewart recipe, fully expecting
the recipe to follow Martha’s exacting standards.
Again, what a disappointment!
The recipe ingredients were out of order, didn’t make sense,
and I had to reread the instructions numerous times to figure out what was to
So to that end, this is MY interpretation of the recipe,
along with my numerous Tips and Tricks at the end of the recipe.
Boston Cream Pie
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar, divided into ½ cups
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Pinch of kosher salt
3 egg yolks
2 ½ Tbls cornstarch
3 Tbls butter, cubed
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking power
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
6 Tbls butter
3 oz milk
4 oz. sweet chocolate, chopped
Dampen small cookie sheet, line with plastic wrap.
In medium saucepan, combine milk, ½ cup sugar, vanilla
paste and salt. Slowly bring to boil over medium heat.
While milk mixture is heating, whisk together ½ cup sugar
and cornstarch in medium bowl. Stabilize bowl on kitchen towel. Add yolks and
egg. Whisk until mixture is homogenous and no lumps. Set aside.
When milk mixture comes to a low boil, remove from heat.
Add vanilla bean paste. Temper egg mixture in
three additions, whisking briskly.
eggs: Add a small amount of hot liquid
(small ladle) to the egg mixture, whisking after each addition. Once the egg
mixture feels as warm as the rest of the milk mixture add it back to the
original saucepan, whisking to combine.
Whisk egg mixture over medium
heat until it starts to thicken, about a minute. Whisk until thick, about two
minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter.
Pour custard through mesh
sieve onto prepared cookie sheet. Spread to level. Cover with plastic wrap.
Chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour 9-inch round cake pan.
Combine milk and butter in
saucepan over low heat.
Beat eggs and sugar until
thick, and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla. Add dry
ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Add milk and butter mixture, mix
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake until cake is golden,
about 35-40 minutes. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan, transfer to
rack to cool.
Place cake on plate or stand.
Using serrated knife, split cooled cake horizontally. Set top of cake aside.
Spread bottom cake layer with Pastry Cream, spread to within ½
inch of outer edge. Place top half of cake onto custard layer.
Microwave cream for 30-45
seconds. Add chocolate, allowing about a minute to soften chocolate. Stir until
Pour over assembled cake,
smoothing to edge of cake and allowing a little to drip over edge.
When I made the pastry cream, I didn’t have
whole milk. I used ¾ cup of half and half and 1 ¼ cup of 2% milk.
Pastry cream can be prepared 1-3 days ahead of
time. Instead of using cookie sheet, store in a covered container. Remember to
cover the cream with plastic wrap prior to covering with an airtight lid. This
will keep it from developing a ‘skin’. A thickened layer like you would have on
I used a small ladle to temper the eggs. If you
don’t have a ladle, then you can pour a small amount of the milk mixture into
the eggs while whisking. This might be a bit of a messy process.
While I used a mesh sieve to strain the custard
onto the cookie sheet, it is a step that I added. I didn’t need it this time
because I did a good job tempering. But if you add too much hot milk or don’t
whisk quick enough, then you might have bits of cooked egg in your custard.
This makes it grainy and less silky of a mouth feel.
I also used a piece of cut parchment in the cakepan.
Butter under the parchment to adhere it to the pan, then butter on top of the parchment.
If you want to heat the cream for the ganache in
a pan, feel free. I just decided to microwave it since it was already in a
measuring cup and I was tired of washing dishes.