Susan Spencer of "48 Hours" travels to Boston for a treat on the menu:
Executive chef Gerard Tice at Boston's Omni Park House Hotel makes life in the kitchen look easy as pie -- specifically, Boston Cream Pie.
"So, essentially we're talking butter, chocolate, cream, sugar. What could possibly go wrong with that?" said Spencer.
"Nothing!" laughed Tice. "It's a wonderful dessert!"
Wonderful, yes ... and completely misnamed. It's not a pie at all.
"No, it's a cake," said Tice. The pie name came because it was originally baked in pie shells.
Two pie shells, actually, for two yellow sponge cakes, held together with thick pastry cream, covered in chocolate, and coated with almonds.
And its appeal? "It's simple flavors, that just bring you back to your childhood," he said.
Boston Cream Pie has been made more or less the same way since it was invented over a century ago at this very hotel, whose kitchen, the chef notes, has had some famous -- and unlikely -- employees...
"Malcolm X was a busboy," he said. "Ho Chi Minh worked in the bake shop."
"So Ho Chi Minh conceivably could've baked a Boston Cream Pie?"
"Yes, he could." And Malcolm X presumably could've cleaned up after somebody that had just eaten one.
But the proof is in the pudding ... or, in this case, the pie.
"That is good," said Spencer. "I have to keep eating it just to make sure it's still good."
Which explains why their kitchen turns out some 300 Boston Cream Pies a day -- both miniature-sized, and enough for a crowd.
"I'd say about 80% of the people that order dessert are the Boston Cream Pie," said Tice.
But as the chef (and the entire state of Massachusetts) will tell you, it's worth every calorie-laden penny.
Spencer asked, "What comes to mind immediately when I say Boston Cream Pie?"
"Creamy, silky, smooth, chocolatey. Heaven!"
Not to overstate it.
- Recipe: Parker House's Boston Cream Pie
- Recipe: Boston Cream Pie Martini
- Recipe index: "Sunday Morning"'s 2015 "Food Issue" - Delicious menu suggestions from top chefs and the editors of Bon Appetit magazine
For more info:
- Parker's Restaurant at the Omni Parker House, Boston, Mass.