Why I Know I Wouldn’t Have Survived In The Parker House Kitchen In 1880

By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

To celebrate my reading and author signing last week, my aunt had the great idea of making a Boston cream pie. We were having a group of friends and family over to the house after the reading and decided it would be a nice way to celebrate the reading. I have also recommended making a Boston cream pie for those hosting a BANISHED LOVE book club. Thus, I thought I should make it to see what exactly I was recommending.


The cake as it cools

The cake as it cools

Thankfully, we split up the tasks. My aunt made the cake and I made the custard and the frosting. I come from a family that bakes almost everything from scratch, so reading recipes and baking is second nature. As I progressed further into this baking project, I was glad I wasn’t a novice!


The cake cut in half with the cream in the middle

The cake cut in half with the cream in the middle

From start to finish, the mixer was in constant use. Between beating egg whites, egg yolks (something I had never heard of), and mixing the regular ingredients, the mixer was on constantly.  As I stood, watching the egg whites slowly firm, I imagined working in a kitchen in the Parker House before there was electricity. I envisioned myself in a white apron, with sweat pouring down my cheeks as I stood using a hand mixer trying to get the egg whites to firm. I shuddered at the thought of having to do all of this by hand. Just the thought of it made me want to take a nap. Those workers must have had arms of steel!


With the custard on the sides (we omitted the almonds which would have been placed on the side)

With the custard on the sides (we omitted the almonds which would have been placed on the side)

As for our cake, everything took much longer than we thought it would. There were a few mishaps, such as not having the custard in a large enough kettle and almost spilling the entire thing all over the stove. Not a moment to write home about! :-) Thankfully, I managed to pour the entire billowing custard into a larger pot with very little mess and it didn’t curdle.


The finished Boston Cream Pie!

The finished Boston Cream Pie!

In the end, our Parker House Boston cream pie was beautiful to look at. I found it a bit bland, but others who ate it said it was delicious. As for my recommendation on whether or not to make the cake, I’d say order it out!

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