Strawberry Hazelnut Cream Pie

Like Boston cream pie, this recipe marries a similar contradiction of a tender hazelnut cake with the decadence of a strawberry cream pie, all held within a crumbly chocolate crust. Who said that you can’t have both your cake and your pie and eat them too?


For the Hazelnut Cake:

1 cup raw hazelnuts, finely ground
⅓ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Butter Streusel:

2 tablespoons butter
½ cup granulated sugar

For the Chocolate Crust

9 ounces thin chocolate wafers, crushed to a fine crumb
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Custard Filling:

4 egg yolks
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Strawberry Compote:

1 pound strawberries, stemmed and quartered
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon hazelnut syrup

For the Hazelnut Glaze:

½ cup apricot jelly
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon hazelnut syrup

For the Garnish:

1 pound whole strawberries, stemmed and tops cut to level them
⅓ cup hazelnuts, chopped
1½ ounces chocolate, chopped or shaved


To Prepare the Hazelnut Cake:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut rounds of parchment to place in the bottom of a 9×2-inch round cake pan. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of the pan. In a food processor, combine the ground hazelnuts, sugar, butter, flour, salt, and baking powder. Process the ingredients just until the butter incorporates. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together. Blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the food processor. Process just until combined without overmixing. Place the batter in the prepared cake pan.

To Prepare the Butter Streusel:

In a small bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Crumble the mixture over the batter in the cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from the pan to the cooling rack to cool completely. Do not turn off the oven.

To Prepare the Chocolate Crust:

Combine the crushed chocolate wafers, sugar, flour, and melted butter. Press the crust mixture on the base and up the sides of a 9×2-inch round, fluted tart pan with a removable base. Bake in the preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

To Prepare the Custard Filling:

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of the sugar until well blended. In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter along with the cornstarch and ⅓ cup granulated sugar, whisking to combine as the butter melts. Continuously whisking, pour in the milk and heavy cream. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer. Slowly pour the heated milk into the beaten egg yolks to temper them, whisking vigorously to keep the eggs from curdling. Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla. Pour the custard in a nonreactive bowl. Cover the custard with plastic wrap, pressing it down on the surface. Chill.

To Prepare the Strawberry Compote:

Place the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, butter, and hazelnut syrup in another saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring frequently, cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until compote thickens. Remove from the heat, transfer the compote to a bowl, and set over an ice bath.

To Make the Hazelnut Glaze:

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the apricot jelly, water, and hazelnut syrup just to melting. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To Assemble and Garnish:

Spread the strawberry compote in the bottom of the baked crust. Split the baked cake horizontally into two even layers. Place the bottom layer of the cake inside the chocolate crust over the strawberry compote. Spread the chilled custard over the layer of cake inside the crust. Place the second cake layer, the streusel side up, on top of the custard. Arrange the whole strawberries pointing upward to cover the top of the cake. Using a pastry brush, coat the berries with the hazelnut glaze. Randomly sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate pieces over the whole strawberries and cake. Chill the assembled cake thoroughly for custard and compote to set. To serve, remove the crust from the tart pan. Slice.

Recipe Created by R. Shannon Mock
and Stylized by Brontë E. Mock




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