Treacle tart

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It is worth to take time to make your own pastry for this old-fashioned favourite, with its sticky filling and twisted lattice topping. Smooth creamy custard is the classic accompaniment, but it is also delicious served with cream or vanilla ice cream.  For a more textured filling, use wholemeal (whole-wheat)  breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes instead of the white breadcrumbs.

This dessert is also featured in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The childcatcher, in an attempt to lure out the children from the basement, calls out that he is giving away free sweets. His mention of free treacle tarts is the selling point for the boy, convincing him to be lured out into the street.

Ingredients:

350 g unsweetened shortcrust pastry

260 g golden (light corn) syrup

1 lemon

75 g white breadcrumbs

Preparation:

(for 4 – 6 serves)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out three-quarters of the pastry to a thickness of 3 mm. transfer to a 20cm fluted flan tin and trim off the overhang. Chill the pastry case for 20 minutes. Reserve the trimmings.

Put a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. To make the filling, warm the syrup in a pan until it melts. grate the lemon rind and squeeze the juice.

Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and lemon rind. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then add more crumbs if the mixture is too thin and moist. Stir in 30 ml of the lemon juice, then spread the mixture evenly in the pastry case.

Roll out of reserved pastry and cut into 10 – 12 thin strips. Twist the strips into spirals, then lay half of them on the filling. Arrange the remaining strips at right angles to form a lattice. Press the ends onto the rim.

Place the tart on the hot baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5. Bake for 15 minutes more, until golden. Serve warm.