Poppyseed Refrigerator Torte

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Recipe origins are slippery things, aren’t they? When reader Cynthia J. asked us to find a Chicago Tribune recipe for a Poppyseed Refrigerator Torte from 1967 that her grandma used to make, we complied. That torte was credited to a woman in Cudahy, WI. But more recently, we came across a very-similar recipe that won a blue-ribbon in the Wisconsin State Fair in 1963.  Whomever gets the credit, the light and airy result is delicious.

Makes one, nine-inch torte

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp plain gelatin
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped


Combine crumbs, sugar, pecans and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a buttered 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; cool. Dissolve gelatin in cold water. mix sugar, salt, poppy seeds, and cornstarch in saucepan. Gradually blend in milk; cook and stir over medium heat untiil smooth and thick. Blend a small amount of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; add to hot mixture and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, stirring. Add softened gelatin; stir to dissolve. Blend in vanilla. Chill until mixture begins to thicken. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff. Fold egg whites into gelatin mixture; pour in spring form pan. Refrigerate several hours or, overnight. Serve topped with whipped cream.

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