Thursday, June 18, 2009

Classic Boston Cream Pie

Last weekend, I wanted to try something different. I was in the mood for something a little more involved. Something more like a baking project that would fill up a good chunk of my Sunday. (Don't worry: I have suggestions on how you can do this in an easier, less-involved kind of way.*)
Kristin got me the Hershey's cookbook for my birthday, but so far I'd only used it to bake two lemon recipes. That's just wrong, isn't it? It's a chocolate cookbook! It needed to be properly broken in.
I love-love-love Boston Cream Pie, but I'd never tried to make one, so it presented the perfect challenge.
And at times, it was a challenge. For example, when the recipe says to grease the pan, make sure you grease the bottom and the sides. Whoops:

As I stared at it, wondering if loads of filling and glaze would cover up the defects, my husband declared that my mistake was really a blessing.
"This is perfect for your blog!" he exclaimed. "Now you can show everyone what happened, and they won't make the same mistake! You'll save their Boston Cream Pies."
He's a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. I demolish a cake, he says I'm a hero. I heart him.
I plucked a piece of the stuck cake edge out of the pan and tasted it. It was good. I decided this wouldn't be the prettiest Boston Cream Pie ever made, but it was going to taste good.

And boy did it. We've been eating it for dessert all week. I am already trying to pinpoint another reason to make it.


1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)

1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk (whole milk again)
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dark Cocoa Glaze
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (bottom and sides!!) 9-inch round baking pan.
2. Beat shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add alternately with milk to shortening mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

4. Prepare filling (see below). With long serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Place one layer, cut side up, on serving plate; spread with prepared filling.

Top with remaining layer, cut side down. Prepare dark cocoa filling (see below); spread over cake, allowing glaze to run down the sides.

Refrigerate several hours or until cold. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftover pie.

Filling directions:
Stir together sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan; gradually add milk and egg yolks, stirring until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.** Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cover; refrigerate several hours or until cold.

Dark cocoa glaze directions:
Heat water and butter in small saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil; remove from heat. Immediately stir in cocoa. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating with whisk until smooth and of desired consistency; cool slightly.

Source: Hershey's Recipe Collection

My notes:
*If you want to cut down the time commitment on this, just make a regular yellow cake from a box mix. The homemade filling and glaze are really the main events anyway.
**I stirred and stirred and stirred. Finally I decided that if I kept stirring, the darn thing would never come to a boil. So I started "stirring occasionally" until it came to a boil, and then stirred constantly for one minute at a boil. It turned out great.


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