Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Boston Cream Pie

Despite what it's called, this "pie" is actually a cake. One theory on how it got its name is that, in nineteenth- century Boston where it originated, the layers were baked in pie tins, which were more common than cake pans. We get a clue as to the dessert's inventor from older cookbooks, which sometimes refer to it as a Parker House chocolate cream pie, after the historic Boston hotel. Today the cake has the honor of being the official dessert of the state of Massachusetts. The ganache topping thickens as it sits; you want it pourable but thick enough to coat the cake.
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

Unsalted butter, softened, for pan

1 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Chocolate Ganache Icing, recipe follows

Vanilla Pastry Cream, recipe follows

Chocolate Ganache Icing:

9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

6 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups milk

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan; dust with flour and tap out excess. Line bottom with parchment. Sift together cake flour and salt three times into a medium bowl. In a heatproof mixing bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together eggs and sugar until warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat until thick and pale, about 6 minutes. 
  2. Pour milk into a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium just until hot; do not let boil. Discard pod. With mixer on low, add milk to egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Gently fold in flour mixture until combined. 
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched in the center, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edge and invert cake onto rack, then let cool completely, top side up. 
  4. Using a serrated knife, slice cake horizontally into two even layers. Spread bottom layer with pastry cream. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Remove cake from refrigerator; top with remaining cake layer. Place cake on a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour ganache over cake. Use an offset spatula to swirl top. Transfer to a serving plate and chill until ready to serve.

Chocolate Ganache Icing:

  1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until bubbles begin to appear around edges; pour over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside at room temperature until cool but pourable, stirring occasionally. 

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Whisking, slowly pour one-third of the milk mixture into egg yolks. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. 
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming; refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Fudge Factor

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …