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Boston, Tips for College Freshmen, and Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie – Oh What a Feeling…

I love Boston! We just got back from visiting Miss G. for her college’s parents’ weekend. The whole family  went and it was great to see Miss G.  We explored Boston on the city duck tour, attended a college football game, attended Miss G.’s life science class where we learned about quantum orbitals, saw quidditch played, walked most of the freedom trail, explored the north end and I, personally, ate as many lobster rolls as I possibly could.

Saturday’s keynote speaker was Professor Richard Light, author of “Making the Most of College:  Students Speak Their Minds”.  He gave us (parents) eight suggestions for freshmen to help them make the most of their college experience. Of course, I took notes to share with my child………Here is my interpretation of his suggestions:

  1. Make an effort to know one faculty member reasonably well each semester. Consider this a job, screw up your courage and do it. By the end of 4 years, you will perhaps know up to 8 faculty members well and this will help with letters of recommendation as well as having great mentors.
  2. Do not do all of your required courses up front and kill yourself. Spread out the burden over your four years. Make sure you try new things.
  3. Time is the scarcest commodity, so learn how to manage it
  4. Investing or Harvesting; investing – take some risks and try new things, harvesting – build on your strengths
  5. Study in small groups outside of class
  6. Explore research grants available to undergrads
  7. Take courses to help choose a major wisely
  8. Choose to spend time with kids who are different from you; you will grow by knowing others who will challenge your beliefs

It was a good trip. Miss G. was very happy to see us, but I think after five days of us, she was secretly happy to see us go. It was good to see her adjusting to college life.

In honor of our trip, I made a Boston Cream Pie when we got back. Boston Cream Pie originated at Boston’s Parker House Hotel over a century ago. The appalling shocking thing about Boston Cream Pie is that it is actually cake. A good cake, but alas, not pie. You still might like it , though. {smile}

Boston Cream Pie

from Saveur magazine (October 2012)


  • 12 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1 /2 cup flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • ****filling *****
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved (I did not add this & it still tasted great)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • ****glaze ******
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. 60 percent bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cooking Directions:

  1. Make the cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Alternately, add dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 batches; beat until just combined.Pour into greased and floured 9 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, invert onto wire rack and cool completely.
  2. Make the filling: Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla seeds in a saucepan; add yolks and whisk until smooth. Stir in milk and cook over medium heat until thickened - about 10 minutes.Remove from heat and whisk in butter, one cube at a time. Stir in vanilla. Chill at least 2 hours.
  3. Make the glaze: Bring cream to a boil over high heat; pour over chocolate in a bowl and let sit for a minutes. Slowly stir together until smooth and shiny. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Assemble: Split cake horizontally with a serrated knife; top slightly smaller than bottom. Spread custard over cut side of bottom layer, cover with top cake layer; spread chocolate glaze evenly over cake, letting it drip down the sides if it wants to.
  5. Refrigerate cake at least 30 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  6. Enjoy! (even though it is not really pie )

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • architect mom November 8, 2012, 6:37 pm

    I love you, too!

  • Gabrielle November 8, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I love you, Mom!

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