There are a few things that are undeniably southern, hot summer evenings on the porch, condensation on an ice-cold glass of sweet tea, and Pecan pies.
Pecan Torte, Pecan Pie, and Pecan cakes are all very similar beasts, and all of them are incredibly common to find being served in the deep south in the USA. Their deep flavor is unmatched by any other treat, and are best enjoyed with a rich topping of whipped heavy cream.
History of National Pecan Torte Day
So what separates a cake from a torte? Tortes are invariably denser and are naturally creamier and delicious. They’re also commonly multi-layered to take advantage of rich creamy toppings like that mentioned above. What makes them denser? Tortes are typically prepared without baking powder or soda, the ingredients in other baked goods that causes them to rise. What lightness they have comes from the use of whipped egg whites to give them structure and an airiness.
Pecan Tortes are particularly common in the southern region of the USA in part because pecans are the state tree of Texas, commonly known as the lone-star state. Like most things truly southern the people of this region take a deep pride in their traditional treats and hold it high as one more example of a truly American institution, kind of like apple pie and fireworks on the 4th of July! If you’ve never enjoyed a Pecan Torte, then National Pecan Torte Day is your opportunity to broaden your palette and experiences!
How to celebrate National Pecan Torte Day
The best way to celebrate National Pecan Torte Day is to make one of your very own! Here’s a quick and simple recipe.
12 egg yolks
12 egg whites
2c granulated sugar
2 ½c pecans, ground
½t unseasoned bread crumbs
½t extract of vanilla
Start by blending together the egg yolks and sugar until it’s a golden yellow, then mix the ground pecans and bread crumbs together and stir them into the yolk mixture with vanilla. In another bowl blend the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold them into the previous mixture. Now that the mix is prepared, pour them into three separate round baking pans that have been greased and then lined with wax paper.
Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes, testing to make sure the cakes are finished baking. Then turn out on a wire rack and leave to cool. Top with your favorite kind of frosting and serve!