Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Treacle Tart Recipe

The treacle tart is one of those classic British recipes. Simple to make, yet delicious either at tea time or as a dessert dish served with custard.

In essence it's pastry filled with a blend of breadcrumbs, butter and golden syrup (corn syrup), though it can also be made with honey.

It surprises many people to know that the antecedents of this humble tart are truly ancient, going back at least to Medieval times, where we have desserts of honey bound with breadcrumbs and where this mixture was even baked in a pastry shell (or coffyn to use the parlance of the day).

So, we should really celebrate the treacle tart, a true British classic that has stood the test of time.

Treacle Tart

Serves: 6–8


For the Pastry:
150g (1 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
75g (2 3/4 oz) butter
cold water, to bind

For the Filling:
50g (2 oz) butter
120ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup (corn syrup)
150g (5 1/2 oz) white breadcrumbs
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon


Combine the flour and salt in a bow. Dice the butter, add to the pastry and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water to bring the mixture together as a dough. Knead lightly, shape into a ball, cover with clingfilm and set aside in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.

Once the pastry has chilled, turn out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll out until large enough to line a 25cm (10 in) diameter pie plate. Trim the pastry to shape and reserve the trimmings to form the trellis.

Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and set the lined pie plate and the pastry trimmings in the refrigerator as you prepare the filling.

Combine the butter and golden syrup in a pan and heat gently until melted. Stir in the breadcrumbs, along with the lemon zest and juice. Spoon this mixture into the pastry case then roll out the scraps and cut into thin strips. Arrange these in a trellis pattern over the top of the pie.

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 170ºC (340ºF, Gas Mark 5) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Serve warm or cold.

This can also be served with custard or cream as a dessert.

For more classic and traditional British recipes, including historic recipes, please visit the Celtnet British recipes and cookery page.

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