"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
In cooking, as in fashion, where one knockoff leads to another, the road to Boston Cream Pie seems fairly straightforward. The pie, or cake-pie as it was originally called, started out as a cake batter baked in a piecrust. This makes sense because most Colonial cooks had pie pans, not cake pans. At some point, the crust was eliminated, and the batter was poured directly into the pie pan. The transition from pie pan to cake pan is unclear, but once the pie officially became a cake, the real tinkering began.
The first variation, called Washington Pie, was a two-layer cake filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar. This was followed by Boston Cream Pie, with pastry cream replacing the jam. Next, in a moment of can-you-top-this, a three layer extravaganza with jam and pastry cream was created. Finally, in 1854, a chef at the Omni Parker House hotel in Boston transformed the dessert into Chocolate Cream Pie by topping it with chocolate.
These days, two pastry chefs at the Omni are kept busy making Boston Cream Pie.