Left-Brain / Right-Brain Cookery

A double-take in the kitchen

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie

BOSTON CREAM PIE by Left-Brain Marilyn

The origins of this confection go back over a century and a half, and even back then Boston cream “pie” was actually a filled and iced cake, not pie! The name has stuck to this delicious combination of simple cake, pastry cream and dark chocolate. It is a dessert that appeals to a wide audience.

Serves 8 to 10 people

1 egg
1/3 cup (76g) butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 cups (180g) sifted-before-measured cake and pastry flour
1tbsp (12g) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1.5g) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

Pastry Cream
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/4 cup (35g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1.5g) salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (375mL) milk
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (90g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped-into-bits or use chips
1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Submerge egg in hot tap water to temper it (discard water when using egg). Line the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan with parchment and grease the sides. [Alternately line a similarly-sized single baking pan used for layer cakes with foil, bringing foil up the sides and slightly over; coat with non-stick spray.]
  2. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Thoroughly beat in egg.
  3. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Combine milk and vanilla. Alternately in two batches stir first flour and then milk into butter mixture. Turn batter into baking pan and smooth top.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly golden and a cake tester inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack in pan for 10-minutes, then remove cake. Cool completely.
  5. To make pastry cream, stir sugar with flour and salt. Lightly whisk eggs in a large saucepan; stir in sugar mixture until thoroughly combined. Slowly stir in milk, making sure to get mixture at edges of bottom incorporated. Place over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring just to a slow boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Place a piece of plastic wrap or buttered waxed paper directly on surface of cream. Cool to lukewarm.
  6. Meanwhile to make icing, melt chocolate in whipping cream over very low heat in a small saucepan. Stir and when almost smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  7. To assemble, slice cake horizontally into two equal rounds. Place bottom half on cake plate. Top with cream; evenly smooth cream right to edges. Place top, snuggling it slightly into pastry cream below. Ice top.
  8. Let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours so the icing sets. Alternately if kitchen is hot or if in a hurry, refrigerate until icing is set, about an hour. Cake keeps well at room temperature for up to half a day or cover, avoiding contact with icing, and refrigerate up to a day.

Serve as I did with potatoes and vegetables; or for satisfying party food, slice thinly and serve for tacos with Mexican sides such as diced tomatoes, guacamole, grated cheese and tortillas.

Joanna’s comments:
I was never a fan of this dessert; however, Marilyn’s excellent pastry cream has changed everything.


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