Huguenot Torte or Ozark Pudding – Which is it?
When I first moved to California I took a lot of flack for the way I spoke. There was much discussion about names and terminology, the difference between an actuary or a CPA, an attorney or a lawyer, a CV or résumé. When an attorney at the office I worked asked me where I was from, I said from the Midwest. Well that was not precise enough; he is an attorney after all. I then said Missouri. (mi-zoor-ee). He then said I was not pronouncing it correctly. What? He said it is (mi-zoor-uh). I said that was odd since I really should know where I am from. He said when he was in Kansas City he was corrected for saying mi-zoor-ee. I said both are correct and it probably depends if you are from Saint Louis and south, or north and the Kansas City area. I told him if he would refer to the Merriam Dictionary the first pronunciation is mi-zoor-ee and he should inform his friends if he felt that strongly about it. Sheeesh!
When I saw this Huguenot Torte in my magazine I knew I had to research. Huguenot Torte as Merriam Dictionary says [hyoo-guh-not or, often, yoo-] was made with hazelnuts, but when it was taken to the South pecans were substituted. It is called Ozark Pudding and walnuts were substituted if you are from Missouri; at least that is what they say Bess Truman called it. I hear that it was served at the Whitehouse to Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy. I loved this because it is a little French, a little Southern, and Midwestern, and now it is making its way west.
While googling researching everyone had an opinion about the name, but the general consensus was that it was easy and delicious – a little meringue-like, a little gooey, a little caramely, a little nutty, a lot delicious.
I love the ease of this dessert. It has minimal and humble ingredients.The hardest part of this recipe is preparing the pan so it does not stick. You have been warned.
Beat the eggs and sugar until they are at ribbon stage or blanched. That means the eggs and sugar will turn lighter. The ribbon-stage means when you lift the beater up the batter will fold over itself like a ribbon would pool. When you add the flour do not overbeat – that is what makes a cake or cookie tough.
The torte will poof up and then collapse. Not to worry, that is the nature of the dessert. A little sweetened whipped cream and/or a little crème fraîche flavored with Calvados finishes it. If you don’t have Calvados use vanilla or anything you think compliments apple. Because this dessert is not the prettiest be sure to serve it in your prettiest dish. After the first bite no one will care. I would have loved to see the Whitehouse’s presentation.
Oh, and that attorney that I worked with that gave me such a hard time also gave me a hard time over the city where I live. I asked what was the problem, and he said it is beige – nothing ever happens there. I said that is exactly why I like it. Years later I saw him at a local market. He came over to chat. I said what are you doing here in the neighborhood? He said I live here now. Really? I thought nothing ever happens here. He said he was married now, and had children and he wanted them to grow up in a nice environment. Hmmmm…..
So don’t get caught up in the name; call it what you want – Huguenot Torte or Ozark Pudding. Just make it.
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- dash of salt
- 1 cup pecans – toasted for more flavor
- 1 cup apples (preferably Granny Smith), shredded
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar – I used less
- 2 tablespoons Calvados brandy – I used less
- Mise en place ~ Gather ingredients
- Butter parchment and dust with flour – 9×13 – I used a small sheet pan
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Toast and chop the pecans.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a mixer, mix the eggs and sugar to ribbon stage. (until they are light yellow in color.)
- Gently fold in the flour mixture and then the apples, pecans and vanilla extract.
- Pour the batter into a well buttered/floured pan.
- Bake 30–45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Whip the chilled cream with 3 tablespoons sugar and the Calvados and serve with the Torte.
- Serve in your prettiest dish.
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