Professor Finn’s Boston Cream Pie Recipe

Government Professor John Finn is sort of a powerhouse on campus. His classes are highly sought after and fill up incredibly fast. Ask an upperclassmen “Who’s someone I gotta take a class with?” And usually Finn will be in their top five. “But I’m a music major,” you’ll whine. “It doesn’t matter. Taking a class with Finn will change your life. Taking a class with Finn will get you a girlfriend. Taking a class with Finn cures cancer. Probably.”

Anyway, so something interesting about Professor Finn is that not only does he hold a Ph.D from Princeton and a J.D. from Georgetown, he also holds a culinary arts degree from the French Culinary Institute in New York that he earned in 1995.

Here’s a personal recipe he shared with Wesleyan Magazine back in 2002:


9 eggs, separated
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons lemon peel, minced
2 tablespoons water
4.5 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin powder
1 cup milk
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate
1 cup confectionery sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Separate 5 eggs. Beat yolks with a mixer at high speed; slowly add 1/2 cup of the sugar.
  • Add lemon peel, water, and lemon juice. Fold in 1 cup cake flour. Set aside.
  • Beat 5 egg whites with the salt until foamy. Slowly add 1/2-cup sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold yolks gently into whites, trying not to lose volume. Pour into two, 9 1/2-inch greased cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the cake is golden and springs back when touched.
  • To make the cream filling: Mix gelatin, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour in a small pan. Separate 4 eggs. Mix 4 egg yolks with milk in a bowl and then stir into gelatin mixture. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened, but do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate 40 minutes or until very cold.
  • To make the icing: Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Remove from heat. Stir in confectionery sugar. Add the cream in small amounts until you reach the consistency of a glaze.
  • “Frost” top of one cooled cake layer with cream filling. Top with other layer. Drizzle glaze over top layer. 8 servings.
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