This sounds a little like Lemon Dessert at McKinley Hall at the University of Illinois. I won’t know unless I try it, and right now I’m not doing any desserts. Also, in the 50s, I don’t think our cooks would have used an instant pudding mix.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3.4-ounce) packages lemon instant pudding mix
2 2/3 cups milk
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Combine flour, 1/2 cup pecans and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press onto the bottom of an 11 x 8-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let stand to cool.
Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup whipped topping to cream cheese mixture and fold in gently. Spread over cooled crust.
Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until thickened. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.