Ina Garten’s Game-Changing Boston Cream Pie Additions

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According to NPR, Ina Garten likes to add a citrus element to her Boston cream pie. She described the classic “vanilla cake with vanilla cream filling and chocolate” as “OK,” but she wanted to elevate it by “[infusing] each of the layers with something that was either orange zest, Grand Marnier, or cognac.” The celebrity chef said these additions “really added to the layers of chocolate and vanilla, orange and cognac. They just kind of made it really, really special.” Indeed. These flavors definitely sound a little reminiscent of a Dreamsicle covered in chocolate ganache.

Garten spent six years developing and fine-tuning her citrusy Boston cream pie (via Twitter), and it appears to have paid off. One fan of the recipe raved, “I made your Boston Cream Pie and it is not just a dessert, it is an experience!” They found the combined layers of flavor “unforgettable.” Creating that experience requires a bath of orange juice and Grand Marnier syrup for the cake layers.

You can actually turn it into a “make ahead” dish by making the pastry cream and the cake and refrigerating them prior to putting everything together. However, Garten doesn’t recommend preparing the chocolate ganache more than an hour ahead of serving. And if you want to keep moisture from accumulating, don’t put it back in the fridge once you have completed assembling your Instagram-worthy dessert.

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Professional online writer. Tea drinker. Committed optimist. I write about health, wellness, fitness, parenting conundrums and navigating complex relationships.

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