November 24, 2010

The Pie that was really a Cake

Here are the details for our Thanksgiving pie -- that's really a cake and a fabulously easy cake!

First, from our family to yours...

I've referred to my friend and her mother, also a dear friend, for recipes at other holidays. I've searched for an easy Boston Cream Pie and found I only had to search as far as Kansas City because Diane Balanoff has made an easy version for years. It's one of her son's favorite cakes. And she says she'll deny she used a yellow cake (as will I). But for a busy holiday, a cool cake is just a few simple steps away!

Diane Balanoff's
Boston Cream Pie
1 box of Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
vegetable oil, eggs and water as directed on back of cake box
(I just recycled the box and don't want to rummage for the exact ingredients, which may vary. Also don't get a mix that has pudding in the mix, since that's the filling you'll add:

1 package (or 2 small boxes) Jello Vanilla flavored pudding and pie filling, the Bake and Serve kind, NOT INSTANT!
Whole milk (amount depends on size of box)
A large 6 oz box required 2 cups of milk

Chocolate topping:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of butter or margarine
6 Tablespoons of boiling water

Mix and bake the cake as directed on the box. I used two 9-inch round cake pans, but it may work better for one tall cake which you can then cut in half after it cools.

The tricky part with the cake is keeping it stable since there's only pudding in the middle. Diane jokingly says it's best to make the dessert in the dining room or whatever room you'll be using for serving the pie cake.
To make the dessert set up and transport better, I used my springform pan:
I placed the first cake with the bottom up over a layer of parchment paper:
While the cake was cooling I made the pudding, which despite not being the instant kind of Jello pudding, still came together easy. The key is to get the pudding to come to a rolling boil (like a witch's potion!)
When the pudding cooled I spooned it mainly in the middle of the bottom layer, like this:
I then added the top layer and tried not to press down too hard to keep the pudding between the layers:
Then I started on the chocolate topping, which Diane has been making for years. It makes more than enough for the top of the cake (don't worry about the sides.) The key for the chocolate is to add enough water to make a pourable topping, it shouldn't be too thick. You may need to add more than six tablespoons of water. I halved the chocolate recipe, but still needed nearly six tablespoons of water.
I didn't worry if it dripped a little bit ...
And there is our answer to pie on Thanksgiving Day. (Plus my mother-in-law made another decadent sponge cake with a coffee and chocolate topping from an old Hungarian recipe.)

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