Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Boston Cream Pie

[Photograph: Christopher Hirsheimer]

While Boston Cream Pie does in fact hail from Boston (from the Parker House Hotel to be exact) there are a few other inconsistencies to this dessert. You see, it is neither cream-filled or a pie and if we're getting technical. We should probably be calling it Boston Custard Cake since that's exactly what it is. But when you're met with a big slice of chocolate glazed vanilla cake filled with an eggy yellow custard, arguing semantics just seems kind of silly.

This version of Boston Cream Pie from Christopher Hirsheimer's and Melissa Hamilton's Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 is a spot-on version of a classically American dessert. The cake layers are light and fluffy thanks to a batter that involves beating eggs and sugar for a solid 15 minutes (don't be a hero, use the stand mixer). The custard filling is gooey and tinged with a hint of orange from a few tablespoons of Grand Marnier, and the chocolate icing is thick coat of chocolate and cream.

Just a quick note: This recipe makes two cakes so be prepared to do some serious cake eating or make someone's day by dropping off a gorgeous Boston Cream Pie.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, copyright © 2011. Published by Canal House.

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