Okay, let’s start with the name. This is not a pie. Why Bostonians call it a pie is not worth trying to figure out. It uses cake pans. It makes a cake. You put some pudding between (pastry creme actually) and then a ganache over the top. It’s a cake by any rational definition.
So no more calling it a Boston Creme Pie.
This takes time. Sorry but it’s true. Not as much as you might think, but you do have to make pastry cream for the filling. But ganaches are easy.
It is my husband’s favorite thing–outside of me that is. I make him one in a blue moon, whether the moon is actually blue or not. Ain’t he lucky? So do make it. It’s very good. This recipe comes straight from Joy of Cooking. I’ve never found a better one. Enough said.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE:
- 2 1/2 c cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- 8 lg egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 3/4 c milk
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY CREME:
- 1/3 c sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 lg egg yolks
- 1 2/3 c milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
INGREDIENTS FOR THE GANACHE:
- 3/4 c heavy cream
- 8 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- Grease and flour 3 cake pans (you will only use 2 layers, freeze the third for another use). Note that I use vegetable shortening to grease my pans. Butter has water and it bleeds out during the baking, and leaves the bottom soggy.
- Sift together the dry ingredients, three times
- In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar in a stream and beat until light and fluffy.
- In a second bowl, beat the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest until pale yellow.
- Add the egg mixture to the butter along with the flour, alternating in thirds.
- Add the milk, just stirring it it until smooth.
- Divide the batter between the three pans, and bake in a 375° oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out dry. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes and then place on racks to cool completely.
- For the pastry cream: beat at high speed the sugar, flour, cornstarch and 4 egg yolks until thick and pale.
- In a saucepan, bring the milk to a low simmer. Ladle about a half cup of the milk to the egg mixture and stir, then turn all into the sauce pan and cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Cook for one minute more. Remove to a bowl, add the vanilla and cover the surface with Saran to keep a skin from forming. Cool completely.
- For the ganache: Bring the cream just to a boil and then add the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts. Cool until it reaches a just barely pourable state.
- Assemble: Place a layer of the cake on a serving dish. Put all the pastry cream on the top, spreading evenly. Add the second layer. Pour the ganache in the center, and let it drip over the edges, guiding it with a pastry knife.
NOTES: You can use various cakes, I like the Gold Cake from Joy. You can use a sponge cake which is more difficult to handle but probably is more authentic. The extra layer will hold nicely for a good three months in the freeze, and can make a quick dessert with some fresh berries, or some frosting to make half a cake. Or save another third layer and you have a whole cake already made!
- Boston Cream Pie Swiss Roll (vagabondbaker.com)
- Remembering Boston Creme Pie (dairyfreeswitzerland.wordpress.com)