New Age Washington Pie

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New Age Washington Pie

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Published prior to 2008

Here at King Arthur, we believe in keeping old traditions alive. But we also believe in innovation. So, to celebrate Washington’s Birthday this year, we’re going to whip up a Washington Pie. According to culinary history, as embodied in the 1933 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook (a.k.a. Fannie Farmer), Washington Pie is Boston Cream Pie with raspberry jam between the layers, instead of pastry cream. Our view? Let’s make a golden yellow cake, filled with layers of pastry cream AND raspberry jam, topped with fudge icing. Surely George would have approved!

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (8 ounces) regular or low-fat yogurt or sour cream
2 1/2 cups (10 5/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Pastry Cream Filling
1 large (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
3 cups (24 ounces) light cream or 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) each heavy cream and milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Raspberry Filling*
one (12-ounce) bag frozen raspberries
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup 1 5/8 ounces) pie filling enhancer
*In a pinch, reach for 1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) seedless raspberry jam

Hot Fudge Icing
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 1/2 stick) butter
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light cream or evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make the cake: Make sure the butter, eggs and sour cream or yogurt are at cool room temperature, 68°F to 72°F depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Remove them from the refrigerator about an hour before you want to begin preparing the cake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment and spray) two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, at medium speed of an electric stand mixer or high speed of an electric hand mixer, for one minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat till light colored. This will take a total of 5 minutes at the medium speed of a stand mixer, or the high speed of a hand mixer. Be sure to stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and salt atop the batter, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Using a spatula or large spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in the bowl alternately with the yogurt mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir by hand only until the batter is completely mixed.

Divide the batter into two 9-inch pans. Bake the cake layers in the middle of the preheated oven for 23 to 25 minutes, or until they're quite firm (and not sticky) when you gently press the middle, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes. Working with one layer at a time, run a knife around the sides of the cake to make sure it's not sticking to the pan, center a plate or flat pan over the cake, and tilt it upside down. Remove the pan from the cake, center the cooling rack over the cake, and turn it back onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
Yield: Two 9-inch cake layers.

To make the cream filling: Combine the instant pudding mix and the light cream (or milk and cream), and vanilla. Whisk by hand, or mix at low speed of an electric mixer for 2 minutes, or till it thickens. Refrigerate until firm.

To make the raspberry filling: Combine the frozen raspberries and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring to combine. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove the raspberries from the microwave, and stir till they fall apart and turn to a rough sauce. If they’re still too frozen to do this, microwave them in short bursts till they’re soft. Sprinkle in the pie filling enhancer, stirring till smooth. Set aside. You now have absolutely the most delicious raspberry filling/jam you’ll ever taste.

To assemble the cake: Using a very long serrated knife, cut each layer in half lengthwise, to make four round, thin layers. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with half the cream filling (a scant 20 ounces, or 1 3/4 cups). Top with the second layer; spread with the raspberry filling. Top with the third layer; spread with the remainder of the cream filling. Top with the final layer, and pour the hot fudge icing over the top, allowing it to dribble down the sides.
Yield: 1 tall cake, about 12 servings.

To make the icing: In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt, and stir this mixture into the chocolate along with the cream or milk. Note: Whisking the cocoa with the other ingredients prevents it from forming lumps in the sauce. Stirring constantly, heat the mixture till it’s boiling vigorously around the edges; simmer for 2 minutes, and remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Immediately pour the hot icing over the cake. This will make about 1 1/2 cups icing; if you find yourself with any left over, simply refrigerate it and serve with ice cream, or just eat it with a spoon (surreptitiously, of course).
February 17, 2004


  • star rating 02/12/2009
  • Rita from Utica, NY
  • Although time consuming, this recipe is completely fool-proof. It makes a spectacular presentation and is so delicious. For a while, all my children requested it as their birthday cake. The first time I made it was when I was snowed in for the day. Best time to bake something that takes a while! I make my own pastry cream from scratch because we cannot eat anything with preservatives, but I am sure the instant pudding would also be delicious. Go ahead and make this. You won't be disappointed!