Posted by: Erica Retrochef | June 25, 2012

Picnic Day: Ozark Pudding!

Yay, it’s Months of Edible Celebrations Picnic Day again! I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing…

Ozark Pudding, also known as Huguenot Torte, is an conglomeration of eggs, sugar, apples, and pecans. The final result isn’t really a squishy pudding, or a cake-like torte, rather it’s something more unique. But I’m getting ahead of myself! This is actually my second “attempt” at making Ozark Pudding — I made it last Wednesday, and thought it was so delicious and fun that I just HAD to “bring” it to the Picnic.

I first learned of this dessert from historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour. Its history is somewhat inscrutable — the “Huguenot Torte” name from the 50’s refers to a restaurant rather than French Huguenots, and it was discovered in Texas (as “Ozark Pudding”) around the 30’s, so it presumably is older than that.

But I don’t really care all that much, because it’s just pure yum.

Huguenot Torte (1930s)
Ingredients taken from The First Ladies’ Cookbook (1965)
Directions inspired by Cuisine at Homemagazine (2009)

1 cup peeled and chopped tart cooking apples
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, mixed with
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon almond extract.

1. Preheat over to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish; or line it with parchment paper.

2. Beats eggs and vanilla at high speed. Add the sugar a little at a time, until the eggs are light and creamy, about five minutes.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into egg mixture until just combined.

4. Fold in apple and pecans.

5. Pour into baking dish. Bake torte 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool five minutes and serve warm, cut into squares, topped with almond whipped cream.

I like a lot of apples in this, personally — make it a heaping cup of apple. 3 medium apples does nicely.

Beating the sugar into the eggs is fun, because…

When you beat eggs for five minutes, they undergo an impressive transformation. Light and creamy indeed!

Be amazed at how little flour is going into this. (And I think you could easily make this gluten-free by using an alternative, like some finely ground almonds.)

You’ll need the five minutes of egg-beating time to chop up the apples and pecans, which is the most time consuming part of this recipe. (And these are both easy things to cut up, so that should help you realize how easy the whole dish is.) Be generous with these ingredients.

Finally, the apples and pecans go in.

Stir it all up and pour it into your casserole dish.

This is the sort of thing you want to watch while it’s in the oven, because it starts puffing up A LOT towards the end of the bake time.

After it comes out, it slooooooooowly deflates, and the top cracks as it sinks.

You can’t avoid cracked, crumbly chunks on top, but that is completely OK. Those delicious crunchy bits are delicious. It’s the tasty crust on top of an apple-pecan pie that has been baked upside down.

This definitely does need some whipped cream (or ice cream, or even Cool Whip) on top to round out the flavors, or else it can easily be too sweet. (Serve it with a nice cool glass of hard cider for further delightful apple-y contrasts, and further memories of fall.)

I think this is a really great dessert — it has lots of textures, and a complex array of flavors. Despite its long history, it seems innovative and unexpected. The apple and pecans (which I can imagine swapping for other fruit/nut combinations, like pear/almond?) are nicely complimented by the surrounding goo, and it tastes like fall.

Happy Picnic Day, and enjoy this virtual serving of Ozark Pudding!


  1. Oh goodness, gracious me, Erica! We are going to devour that Ozark Pudding at the Picnic. It sounds so interesting and I love the way you given us a detailed view of the process. How cool is that! I can definitely “taste” it with a dollop of ice cream!!!

    Thank you so much for “bringing” this to the picnic. I’ll be sitting within distance of you for sure!!!

    P.S. Love Sarah’s blog!

  2. One of MY favorite ‘vintage’ cookbooks is ‘The I Hate To Cook Cookbook’ by Peg Bracken (she wrote more than one cookbook) and there was a recipe exactly like this in her book. I’ve made it on and off for 20 years, especially in the fall, and I can testify it is JUST WONDERFUL!!!

  3. Oh, wow – I’ve never seen anything like this. I wonder what other combinations I could use… hm…!

  4. Hi, I’m stopping by from The Picnic Game. Your Ozark Pudding looks really interesting and delicious! Really wish that I could have some with the cream! Thank you for sharing! Have a nice day!

  5. […] B- Baked Beans C- Cauliflower Tabbouleh J- Jubilee Sandwich L- Limoncello Pine Nut Biscotti O- Ozark Pudding P- Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanille (Apricot-Chamomile Popsicles) /* /* « […]

  6. I recently made Ozark Pudding from “Southern Cakes” by Nancie McDermott (highly recommend that and its companion “Southern Pies”). The recipe is similar except yours has 50% more sugar and twice the baking soda (thus the puffiness?). McDermott’s recipe is really more like a moist cake. It’s very yummy, and one of those that can be put together fast because you likely have all the ingredients on hand.

    BTW, McDermott’s research traced the pudding recipe back to 1928 and says this inspired the Huguenot Torte (a signature cake from Charleston SC).

  7. […] and Ambarella Juice L – Limoncello Biscotti M – Mini Meringue Kisses N  – Nougat Brownies O – Ozark Pudding P  – Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanilla Q – Quinoa Salad R S – Strawberry & Kiwi Chocolate […]

  8. […] Pingback: Picnic Day: Ozark Pudding! « Retro Recipe Attempts […]

  9. HI, I’m stopping over from The Picnic Game and your pudding looks amazing. I have never come across this before and would love to have some.

  10. All the hints about the long history of this dish intrigue me. Also, it sounds really delicious and decadent: just what we want on our picnic. Wish I could actually taste it instead of just imagining it.

    Best from mae at and also letter A.

    • Isn’t this technically considered to be a “buckle” or a “slump”? Because of the way the crust caves in? Buckles and slumps are pretty old recipes! I’m going to make blueberry buckle (no nuts) for the 4th.

      • I think the main difference is that in this dessert, the pudding/cake batter and fruit are all mixed together and put in the oven and the crust sort of spontaneously forms, whereas in a buckle or slump the batter is put on top of the fruit. (Emphasis on think. I’m not an expert on the terms!)

  11. Erica, This looks so delicious! An absolutely wonderful addition to the picnic basket!!

  12. I’m slightly embarrassed. I’m from Arkansas and have never heard of this dish! It looks delicious.

  13. Stopping over from the picnic game! This recipe looks delicious–I love making old recipes again. I always look at how quickly I make something a second time as a mark of how good a recipe is!

  14. What a fun dish for the picnic game! I love retro things and they usually are the best recipes. This is new to me and I loved the post!

  15. Yummy says it all.

  16. I’m so glad your tried this recipe–it is one of my all-time favorites!

  17. […] Ozark Pudding (right here on Retro Recipe Attempts, last week!) […]

  18. […] BiscottiM  – Mini Meringue KissesN   – Nougat BrowniesO   – Ozark PuddingP   – Paletas de Chabacano y ManzanillaQ  – Quinoa SaladR  – […]

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