Wish Upon A Dish: Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie ♥ A Homecoming Surprise

November 1, 2012

Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie ♥ A Homecoming Surprise

I told The Nudge that when he got home I would have a surprise for him.
Apparently I said too much when I asked him to fetch my cake keeper from the basement and he guessed it was a baked pie or cake. I told him a cake keeper isn't just for a cake. I don't think he would ever guess what I am planning on putting in that keeper.

I have always wanted to make a Boston Cream Pie. It is his favorite flavor combinations and when I find a chocolate creme doughnut, I always bring it home. I'm not even sure he ever had a true Boston Cream Pie but for some reason he's convinced it's the best cake ever. Just like a kid, huh?

Well, the time has come for me to make my first try. When America's Test Kitchen sends me a recipe for their fail-proof Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie it is a sign. They do that a lot to me. Maybe my Wish List is way to long and they just got lucky?

I did learn a few things along the way and my mistakes are your gains.

It is very hard to keep the pastry cream from oozing terribly from between the layers. I did not want a pastry cream so dense (like frosting) so there was no corn starch. I would either use a plastic cake band when assembling or bake the cakes in a spring form pan and then use the pan to set the cake in. I had a dickens of a time trying to get the ganache to drip down the side with the pastry cream popping out so I just placed it in the fridge till it firmed up and spread it like a frosting around the sides. The pastry cream oozed no more.

When they say line the pan with parchment paper, release spray is not enough, please use the paper.

Do not touch the ganache once it cools, you can see dull and shiny parts on my top, that is why.

Try not to refrigerate the pastry cream more than 1 day ahead. It starts to break down and get runny and I'm not sure why. If you place it in a bowl and whip it on high with a mixer you can firm it back up again.

It may seem like a lot of work but it is worth it.

Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie
serves 8

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated - March 2011


Pastry Cream  

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • pinch table salt
  • 1/4 cup unbleached AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine


  1. For the Pastry Cream: Heat half-and-half in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Remove half-and-half from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly add ½ cup to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to half-and-half in saucepan.
  2. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 8 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until bubbles burst on surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and incorporated. Strain pastry cream through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Press lightly greased parchment paper directly on surface and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  4. For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.
  5. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. Remove mixer bowl from stand. Add hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.
  6. Working quickly, divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until tops are light brown and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
  7. Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool -completely in pan, about 2 hours. Run small plastic knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto wire rack. Carefully remove parchment, then reinvert cakes.
  8. To Assemble: Place one cake round on large plate. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spoon onto center of cake. Using offset spatula, spread evenly to cake edge. Place second layer on pastry cream, bottom side up, making sure layers line up properly. Press lightly on top of cake to level. Refrigerate cake while preparing glaze.
  9. For the Glaze: Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth, 30 seconds. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  10. Pour glaze onto center of cake. Use offset spatula to spread glaze to edge of cake, letting excess drip decoratively down sides. Chill finished cake 3 hours before slicing. Cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.
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1 comment :

Heidi Szczepanski said...

Looks delicious! I love boston creme pie. Great recipe and photos. Thanks for sharing.
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