21 February, 2011

February recipe: Treacle tart

Treacle tart is simple to make and delicious to eat, especially on a cold day. Comfort food for the fag-end of winter. It’s made with golden syrup (not black treacle), breadcrumbs and lemon.

Treacle Tart

Serves 4-6

3 oz (approx 75 g) plain flour
3/4 oz (approx 20 g) butter
3/4 oz (approx 20 g) lard

4 oz (approx 100 g) golden syrup
1 oz (approx 25 g) breadcrumbs
Juice and rind of half a lemon

Grease a flan dish about 7 in (approx 18 cm) diameter.

Rub the butter and lard into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Mix with a small amount of water until it forms a soft dough. If too sticky, add a little more flour. If too dry and flaky, add a little more water.

(Or you can use ready-made shortcrust pastry if you prefer).

Roll out on a floured board, and line the flan dish with the pastry. Keep the pastry trimmings to make decorations.

In a small saucepan, mix the golden syrup, breadcrumbs, lemon rind and lemon juice. The easiest way to weigh out the golden syrup is to stand the pan on the scales and spoon syrup directly into the pan to the required weight. Two large tablespoons (15 ml spoons) of golden syrup is about right.

Warm the syrup mixture gently over a low heat until the syrup is liquid, and mix well.

Pour the syrup mixture into the pastry case. Roll out the spare pastry and use to make leaves or other decorative shapes, and arrange these on top of the tart.

Bake in a hot oven at about 200 C for 25-30 minutes until the filling is set and the pastry is golden.

Serve hot or cold, with cream, custard or ice cream.

If there is any left over, the tart will keep for three or four days at room temperature.


Kathryn Warner said...

Yummy! You always post such lovely recipes, Carla!

Gabriele Campbell said...

I remember this as a too sweet dessert. ;)

What exactly is golden syrup?

Carla said...

Kathryn - thanks for the compliment :-)

Gabriele - Yes, it's definitely a dessert for those with a sweet tooth. The lemon helps balance the sweetness a bit, but there's no getting away from the fact that the filling is basically sugar. I like it in small quantities :-)

Golden syrup is related to treacle (molasses), but it's golden coloured instead of dark brown and doesn't have such a strong flavour. It's made during processing of sugar cane into sugar (I think you can also make it, or something very similar, from sugar beet but don't quote me on that). It's a very thick sticky solution in which the sucrose* has been partly broken down into glucose and fructose and partly caramelised. In a way it's part way to becoming toffee, I suppose. It's a lot thicker than maple syrup, about the consistency of thick honey, but unlike honey it doesn't crystallise.
*Sucrose is the main component of standard white sugar and consists of a molecule of glucose joined to a molecule of fructose.

Gabriele Campbell said...

No wonder the stuff is sweet. That cream sounds line instant caries. ;)

Constance Brewer said...

Everything's better with lard! :)
Recipe sounds good, if deadly, to me.
What is golden syrup? Looking for the American equivalent...

Carla said...

Gabriele - perhaps not instant, but it wouldn't be a good idea to eat it all the time :-)

Constance - lard makes nice crumbly pastry. See my reply above to Gabriele about what golden syrup is - essentially a golden type of molasses without the strong flavour, made from sugar cane. I have a cookbook that gives American conversions for some of its recipes, and it says that the American equivalent of golden syrup is a product called 'light corn syrup'. Hopefully that means something to you! Over here, pecan pie recipes usually use golden syrup, which I guess must be substituting for the American equivalent, so whatever syrup you would use to make pecan pie is presumably the American equivalent of golden syrup.

Constance Brewer said...

Corn syrup makes perfect sense. Thanks. :)