A Huguenot Torte is an iconic Charleston, SC dessert that’s packed with apples and pecans. It’s a delicious way to celebrate fall baking season!
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As a kid, I grew up in downtown Charleston, SC. It wasn’t until years later (after my family moved away) that I realized how unique and different that experience was. I grew up selling lemonade to tourists on my front porch steps. (The key was setting up your lemonade table before the kids next door set up their table!)
Our house was build in the mid-1800’s. It made lots of strange noises, and guests that stayed with us swore it was haunted. If I dug in the backyard, it was common to find bits of broken pottery or bones. Supposedly broken pottery was just discarded outside…and bits and pieces of that pottery are still buried there. Sadly, I never found any buried pirates’ treasure. I looked. A lot. But no luck.
Another unique thing about Charleston was it’s food. Over the years, I’ve shared a lot of iconic Charleston recipes here on the blog, and today we’re adding another one to the list. The Huguenot Torte is a unique dessert made up almost entirely of chopped nuts and apples. There’s a tiny bit of flour (just ¼ cup) that helps hold it all together, but the nuts and apples are the shining star in this dessert.
It is believed that the Huguenot Torte is a variation of a Midwestern dessert called Ozark Pudding. Once again, the name is misleading – there’s nothing remotely pudding about this dessert! One story says that the dessert baker at Charleston’s Huguenot Tavern discovered this recipe at a family gathering in Texas. She brought the concept back to Charleston where she named it after the restaurant where she worked.
But enough of the backstory – let’s talk about the recipe itself! As noted above, the Huguenot Torte isn’t really a torte at all. In fact, you’ll have better luck serving this dessert with a flat spatula or even a spoon – it’s somewhat similar to a cobbler. The filling is almost entirely made up of apples, pecans and sugar. A couple of eggs and a tiny bit of flour forms a very thin batter that helps hold the whole thing together.
The Huguenot Torte might be one of Charleston’s best kept secrets! I associate this dessert with early autumn as the nuts and apples give it a very seasonal vibe. Oh, and your house will smell amazing while this one is in the oven! I do recommend serving this dessert with a dollop of real whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do here in our house!
Did you make this Huguenot Torte at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
For the Torte
For the Whipped Cream
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
For the Torte
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Spray a 9” square baking pan with non-stick baking spray; set pan aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed, or until eggs are frothy and light yellow in color.
- Add sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, diced apples, 1 cup of chopped pecans and vanilla extract; mix until just combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. (Tip: Use an offset spatula to smooth the top of the batter before baking.)
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crusty.
- Let torte cool for 30 minutes before serving.
For the Whipped Cream
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Divide torte onto plates and top with whipped cream and remaining ¼ cup of chopped pecans. (Tip: A large spatula is the best way to transfer this torte onto serving plates!)
Looking for more iconic Charleston, SC recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: