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. Wrong! 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 and served with custard or probably better tart Greek yogurt, a slice of this would go a long way when serving a bunch of people.
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." What makes this dish are breadcrumbs...yes you read that right!!
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. This is rather simple to make and can be eaten cold or warm so is perfect to whip up ahead of time so please add a comment below of your thoughts and experiences with this or how you found making it!
Treacle Tart History
The origin of Treacle Tart 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 recipe doesn't come very close to the recipe for this tart today, but it is apart of the British cuisine nonetheless.
It was historically 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 before subbing another syrup.
Why you'll love this
It's a British classic for a reason
Golden syrup, breadcrumbs and lemon zest make for a great filling.
A little goes a long way
Due to the sweetness of this, you could happily serve 16 thin slices after a Sunday roast.
How to prepare Treacle Tart
- Make the pastry: Combine until a dough is formed.
- Chill it: Chill the pastry.
- Heat: Heat the golden syrup (that essential ingredient).
- Complete the filling: Add all the other ingredients to the syrup until it is combined.
- Blind bake the pastry: Roll your chilled pastry out and blind bake.
- Add your filling: Pour that filling in.
- Bake: Bake your tart until golden.
- Slice and serve: Slice it up and serve em up with a hefty dollop of Greek yogurt.
Ingredients and substitutions for the best Treacle Tart
- Plain flour: This is the best option for that flaky pastry, cake flour is not recommended here and if you live in the UK, see the FAQ's section as to a the type of flour to use here.
- Butter: Cold and cubed helps you press it into your flour without heating it up too much as you work it. Make sure that butter is fully coated with flour so no puddles form during baking. Unsalted was used here as this is fresher than salted, however, you could absolutely substitute salted butter here.
- Ice water: Ice water helps the water not soak into the flour too much which helps the gluten form in the dough whilst giving you that flaky texture!
- Eggs: As well as adding structure to the filling, the egg will bind our filling together so is essential.
- Golden syrup: The essential syrup needed to make this treacle tart traditional, you could substitute with honey, if you prefer though.
- Breadcrumbs: They help to give a nice crust to the top of our tart and gooey filling in the center.
- Heavy cream: Giving a richness to our tart, this works alongside the butter to give a creamy texture.
- Lemon zest: The most essential ingredient in that filling with the oil in the zest and slight tartness helping give depth to our tart.
See recipe card for quantities.
Equipment needed to make this
Small saucepan: To make the filling you'll need a small saucepan to heat the golden syrup, this also serves as a great mixing bowl for the filling.
Rolling pin: A rolling pin will help you achieve a nice consistent pastry, however, you could substitute a wine bottle for similar results.
Tart dish: A fluted tart dish makes for the traditional tart and is easy to work with. The size of the tart used here is 21.5 centimeters or 8.5 inches, a medium size.
FAQ's for the best Treacle Tart
Can I use storebought pastry for my Treacle tart?
Absolutely! The pastry is most closely linked to shortcrust pastry, so if you don't want to make it or want to save time you can purchase some premade shortcrust pastry crust.
Can I lessen the amount of golden syrup in my tart?
The amount of syrup contributes to the gooey consistency in our filling so cannot recommend decreasing the amount of syrup without changing that lightly gooey result.
More British recipes you'll love
How to make:
Place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl and combine with a pastry cutter or knife until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs with pea sized butter pieces strewn throughout the flour mix.
Add in the ice water and stir together until a dough is formed.
Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to fit into a fluted tart dish.
Press firmly into the edges and trim the excess edges off from the edge of your dish.
Pierce the pastry with a fork all over, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F.
Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and remove the baking beans returning to the oven until lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.
Remove and set aside.
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.
Pour into your pastry.
Bake until the filling is just set, approximately 30 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
Slice and serve with a solid dollop of Greek yogurt.
Treacle Tart is one of those very classic British treats that will make the eyes of locals light up with it's breadcrumb and gooey filling and nice flaky pastry with a dollop of tart Greek yogurt an essential here to offset the sweetness of this.
240 grams / 1 ½ cups plain flour
85 grams / 3 ounces butter, cubed and chilled
½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
80 milliliters / ⅓ cup ice water
454 grams / 1 cup golden syrup
30 grams / 2 tablespoons butter
32 grams / 6 tablespoons bread crumbs
18 grams / 3 tablespoons pouring cream
1 egg, room temperature and lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest, finely chopped
- Place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl and combine with a pastry cutter or knife until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs with pea sized butter pieces strewn throughout the flour mix.
- Add in the ice water and stir together until a dough is formed.
- Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a disk, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to fit into a fluted tart dish.
- Press firmly into the edges and trim the excess edges off from the edge of your dish.
- Pierce the pastry with a fork all over, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F.
- Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and remove the baking beans returning to the oven until lightly golden, approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove and set aside.
- 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.
- Bake until the filling is just set, approximately 30 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Slice and serve with a solid dollop of Greek yogurt.
Adapted from Saveur.com
- Calories: 324 calories per serve