I don’t know why Boston Cream Pie is called that – it’s not a pie at all. It’s freakin’ false advertising. But it’s chocolate and custard and cake (translation: good), so I’ll get over it. In the thoroughly random fashion that my trapeze club is known for, our fearless leader announced that an already-planned goodbye party was dubbed the “fly high, say goodbye, eat pie” party and somewhere in an impressive email written all in rhyme, she basically said if you don’t bring pie, you ain’t gonna fly. Due to my previously discussed pie crust genetic defect, I am not a fan of traditional pie in general. I wanted to fly. I still had left-over ganache from the bee project. Boston Cream Pie was the obvious answer (I use the term obvious loosely). I’m remarkably clever at following the rules while breaking them. DAMN I’m a rebel.
I used the vanilla cupcake recipe I used for the yellow bee cupcakes, which you can find here. I was afraid I was going to run out of frosting for the bee cake after the crumb coat, so I made an extra half batch of ganache just in case. I didn’t need it. I was skeptical on how re-heating room temp ganache would be, but I left it in the glass bowl it was in and put it over some steaming water in a pot on the stove (like a make-shift double boiler) and it softened up perfectly for pouring over the cupcakes.
The tricky part was the cream for the middle. There are a lot of recipes and techniques out there and I’m not familiar with any of them. Their main theme? Don’t screw up – you can ruin pastry filling in the blink of an eye. Awesome, because I’m not easily distracted by things in the kitc…SQUIRREL.
Um, right. So, I baked the cupcakes. Then I started the filling:
The next part involved paying attention or risking the end of life as we know it (or something like that), so I didn’t take pictures, I followed directions and whisked the bejeezus out of my filling. It worked just like the directions said it would. Go figure.
A dollop of filling and the tops go back on. They don’t have to be perfect but try to make them flush with the top of the cake or the ganache will look all weird and lumpy. Or maybe that was just me. I’m generally pretty lumpy.
Then just take the warm ganache and pour it over the top with a spoon until it drips to the edges of the cupcake liners. It will solidify pretty fast. And be pretty, like this:
Boston Cream Pie Pastry Filling
(adapted from www.joyofbaking.com)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/8 c. all-purpose flour
Scant 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1-1/4 c. milk (I used whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks. (Do not let this mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. (Watch carefully and remove from heat just as the milk starts to foam up.) Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.)
Place the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, continue to whisk constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes thick. (this will happen FAST)
Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Let the cream cool in the refrigerator for a few hours.