I really hate to bring attention to a holiday celebrating anything remotely related to Boston…lol. But when it’s a cake filled with vanilla custard and chocolate on the top, can you really say no?? I hope my Yankees-loving boyfriend forgives me 😉 The most interesting thing about a Boston Cream Pie is that it’s not a pie at all: it’s not a pastry dough filled with stuff, which is the definition of a pie. Instead, it’s two sponge cakes layered on top of one another and filled with vanilla custard. The whole cake’s then topped with a chocolate glaze, and each serving gets a great portion of moist sponge cake, sweet chocolate, and cool, gooey custard. The Boston Cream Pie was created in Boston in 1856, and has since become an American dessert treasure. The most popular iteration of the cream pie isn’t even in pie form: it’s the Boston creme doughnut, found in just about every place that sells doughnuts in the country! And even if you don’t like the city–and if you’re a New Yorker, the hate even starts growing on New England transplants–you can’t fault such a great dessert that’s been around the American baking scene for so long.
And even though it is a Boston Cream Pie, there’s a New York bakery that’s been perfecting the cake’s recipe for nearly ninety years. You’ve got to give a bakery some props for that, even when it’s a New York institution baking up a Boston legend! Conti’s Pastry Shop in the Bronx, a family business since 1921, is a staunch believer in the concept that the classics never go out of style. While they are a retail bakery, they specialize in occasion and wedding cakes done in classic traditions. But their most famous dish happens to be the Boston Cream Pie. You don’t find cakes like this anymore: no frills, no fads. No salted caramel topping or black sesame paste. And you can be sure this cake is anything but vegan or gluten-free. It’s exactly what you’re expecting from a classic, traditional Boston Cream Pie: a time-tested recipe of cream and layered sponge cake with Conti’s signature white and dark chocolate glaze. It’s become the favorite shop of TV personality Regis Philbin, who raves about their Boston Cream Pie. And if National Cheeseburger Day taught me anything, it’s that Regis Philbin knows his New York institutions! 😛
Conti’s Pastry Shop
786 Morris Park Ave, Van Nest, Bronx
“For over 90 years, we have mastered the art of creating the most enjoyable, delicious cream pie. People from all over come to Conti’s for the best Boston Cream Pie. With a combination of the finest cream and layered sponge cake, it has been the favorite of many people including our friend Regis Philbin. It has also won the honor of appearances on TV shows and many publications.”–Conti’s Pastry Shop
“Still today, Conti’s retains many of its original details such as hand-stapled tin ceilings, gorgeous wood walls, terrazzo floors, original marble countertops, and the original soda fountain that was installed in 1928 when Conti moved the bakery from Victor Street to Morris Park Avenue. Besides continuing to bake Conti’s renowned Boston cream pie, the three partners began making high-end, decorated cakes almost three years ago to give the Conti tradition a whole new twist for their customers. “We have a very loyal clientele that comes in almost every day. We also have a large group of people that come from all over the state,” Senada Paljevic said. “We love to get to know our customers on a personal level because it’s great to know the familiar faces that continue to give our bakery business. It’s wonderful to be part of the Conti tradition.””–Bronx Times
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I LOVE Conti’s. I grew up eating their Boston Cream Pie for all holidays, birthdays, etc. My grandfather used to go well before dawn to wait on a line to get their breads and pastries. I still make the trip a couple of times a year. Not only do they have a great Boston Cream Pie but their Coconut Custard, Banana Cream, and Chocolate Cream Pies are great too. As are all of their cookies and cannolis (sp?). The prices are reasonable and whatever it is, its worth every penny.”–Lil M.
“Hearing cream in a pie doesn’t really sound appetizing to me, but I tried it and I’m so glad I did! The pie is light, airy, fluffy and not too sweet. There’s a thin chocolate layer on top, then it appears they stuffed the chiffon or sponge cake with fresh whip cream and voila la, there’s your Boston Cream pie. You could eat the whole thing and still feel like you need another piece!”–Janel Y.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!