Before tasting the syrup filled Treacle Tart I imagined this was the British version of say Pecan Pie without the Pecans or Butter Tarts in larger form.
This is so.much.sweeter! Like the level of sweetness one imagines results in teeth falling out from one of those cartoons in the 50’s…but this is a British classic regardless.
In fact, when I told a co-worker the plans to make this over the weekend her eyes lit up as if it was Christmas and she said with such glee that it’s “such comfort food and has to be eaten with custard or cream and is great to finish off a Sunday roast with.”
So creamy vanilla custard was purchased to accompany this and she was 100% right, this tart cannot be consumed without a subtle dairy to calm the sweetness down.
The origins of this dish is interesting as golden syrup was only invented in the 1880’s, yet a year prior a lady named Mary Jewry came up with the recipe as treacle simply refers to any kind of syrup. As is so often the case the original doesn’t come very close to the tart today, but it is apart of the British cuisine nonetheless.
It was notably popular with poorer people due to the abundance of sugar and bread and very little expensive ingredients such as fruit or spices. And here in England, treacle tart is almost always made with golden syrup, so if you want to go authentic than try and get your hands on that then another syrup.
Let’s also talk about the bread crumbs in this dish, they create a perfect crust and the lemon zest flavor weaves itself throughout the dish. It’s rather simple to make and can be eaten cold or warm so is perfect to whip up some time before sharing it.
And don’t forget to serve with spoonful’s of whipped cream or custard because this is sweet!!!
Adapted from Saveur.com
1 1/2 cups flour
6 tablespoons/85 grams butter, cubed and chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup golden syrup or molasses
2 tablespoons/30 grams butter
6 tablespoons bread crumbs
3 tablespoons pouring cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl and mix with a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour in the ice water and mix until it resembles dough.
Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place the golden syrup into a pot and heat on medium until it softens and is easy to stir. Remove from the heat and add in the butter, bread crumbs, cream, egg and zest and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to fit a fluted tart dish.
Shape into the dish and cover. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F. Press holes into the base of the pastry with a fork and cover with greaseproof paper and baking beans.
Place in the oven and bake until the crust is set. Remove the beans and bake until light brown for a further 10 minutes.
Remove and pour in the syrup mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or the filling is just set (mine went from quite jiggly to set in five extra minutes of baking – 30 minutes on the dot!).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Slice and serve with whipped cream or custard.