The 170 year old original Boston Cream Pie recipe, courtesy of Omni Parker House, is wicked awesome (that’s Boston lingo for REAL GOOD). It boasts a delicious two-layer sponge cake filled with a rich and velvety pastry cream and topped with a rich chocolate icing.
What is Boston Cream Pie?
Boston Cream Pie is a classic American dessert that has been enjoyed for over 150 years. Despite its name, it is not actually a pie, but rather a two-layer sponge cake filled with rich pastry cream and topped with a layer of chocolate ganache or fondant. The dessert is said to have been invented at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, now known as Omni Parker House. The Parker House was founded in 1855 by Harvey D. Parker, and it quickly became a popular gathering spot for Boston’s elite. It was at the Parker House that French chef Sanzian created the original recipe for Boston Cream Pie in the 1860s. The dessert was an instant hit, and it soon became a signature dish of the Parker House.
Today, the Omni Parker House continues to serve its famous Boston Cream Pie, which was originally called “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie,” but over time, the name was shortened to “Boston Cream Pie.” It has actually won numerous awards over the years, and it is considered a must-try when visiting Boston. Today, Boston Cream Pie is a beloved dessert that can be found in bakeries and restaurants across the United States. However, if you’re unable to visit Boston, Omni Parker House has a wickedly awesome treat for you, it’s highly coveted Boston Cream Pie recipe.
Step by Step Guide to Making Boston Cream Pie
1. Make the Pastry Cream
- Bring to a boil in a saucepan the butter, milk and light cream.
- While this mixture is cooking, combine the sugar, cornstarch and eggs in a bowl and whip until ribbons form.
- When the cream, milk, and butter mixture reaches the boiling point, whisk in the egg mixture and cook to boiling. Boil for one minute.
- Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap.
- Chill overnight. When chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with 1 tsp. dark rum
2. Making chocolate and white fondant icing
- For the chocolate fondant: Warm 6 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Add melted chocolate. Thin to a spreading consistency with water.
- For the white fondant: Warm 5 oz. of white fondant over boiling water to approximately 105 degrees. Thin with water if necessary. Place in a piping bag with a 1/8-inch tip.
- Alternate approach: Melt the chocolate. Combine with warm water. Combine ingredients and warm to approximately 105 degrees. Adjust the consistency with water. It should flow freely from the pastry bag.
3. Preparing the cake
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- Wet ingredients: Separate egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Add ½ of the sugar to each bowl. Beat both until peaked. When stiff, fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
- Dry ingredients: Gradually add flour, mixing with a wooden spatula. Mix in the butter. Pour this mixture into a 10-inch greased cake pan.
- Baking: Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until spongy and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.
- Adding the pastry cream: level the sponge cake off at the top using a slicing knife. Cut the cake into two layers. Spread the flavored pastry cream over one layer. Top with the second cake layer. Reserve a small amount of the pastry cream to spread on the sides to adhere to the almonds.
4. Final touches
- Spread a thin layer of chocolate fondant icing on the top of the cake.
- Follow immediately with spiral lines starting from the center of the cake, using the white fondant in the pastry bag.
- Score the white lines with the point of a paring knife, starting at the center and pulling outward to the edge.
- Spread sides of cake with a thin coating of the reserved pastry cream.
- Press on toasted almonds