Categories:Cakes HIstory Chocolate Recipes Dessert Recipes Food HIstory Historical Cakes New England
Is Boston Cream Pie really a cake and not a pie!?
Boston Cream Pie History:
Cooks in New England and Pennsylvania Dutch regions were known for their cakes and pies and the dividing line between them was very thin. This cake was probably called a pie because in the mid-nineteenth century, pie tins were more common than cake pans. The first versions might have been baked in pie tins. Boston Cream Pie is a remake of the early American”Pudding-cake pie.”
1856 – The Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House Hotel), claims to have served Boston cream pies since their opening in 1856. French chef Sanzian, who was hired for the opening of the hotel, is credited with creating Boston cream pie. This cake was originally served at the hotel with the names Chocolate Cream Pie or Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie. This was the first hotel in Boston to have hot-and-cold running water, and the first to have an elevator.
1879 – In the cookbook, Housekeeping in Old Virginia, by Marion Cabell Tyree, has the following recipe for Boston Cream Cakes:
Boston Cream Cakes:
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup butter
Boil the butter and water together, stir in the flour while boiling; after it is cool, add the eggs, well beaten. Put a large spoonful in muffin rings, and bake twenty minutes in a hot oven.
The cream for them is made as follows: Put over the fire one cup of milk and not quite a cup of sugar, one egg, mixed with three teaspoonfuls of corn starch and one tablespoonful of butter. Boil a few moments only. When cool, add vanilla to the taste.
Open the cakes and fill them with this cream.
1996 – The Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official Massachusetts State Dessert on December 12, 1996. A civics class from Norton High School sponsored the bill.The pie beat out other candidates, including the toll house cookie and Indian pudding.
Boston Cream Pie Recipe:
This recipe requires some advance planning, as the cake has to cool completely before it is filled and frosted.
Custard Filling Recipe:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large egg yolks, beaten
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and split vanilla bean; heat to just below boiling and then remove immediately remove from heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. After the infusing time, remove the vanilla bean and, using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, reserving the pod for another use.
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, place sugar, flour, and egg yolks; stir until mixture is smooth. Add warm milk and scrapings from inside of vanilla bean. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir. Let mixture cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache (Icing) Recipe:
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a small, heavy saucepan, add the cream and bring just to a boil; immediately remove from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate, stirring with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is completely smooth.
Use the Chocolate Ganache while still warm. If your Chocolate Ganache has cooled, gently re-warm before using.