Simple Treacle Tart

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    10

Appears in

Bake

Bake

By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

I was tempted to add different flavourings to this, but settled on keeping true to the treacle tart’s divinely simple form. I have a huge crush on treacle tart – I can’t have it in the house because if I have one slice, it soon turns into two slices and before I know it I’ve eaten half of the tart in a nostalgic frenzy! They served it at school and it was one of the best desserts they dished out.

Ingredients

  • 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 30 g icing sugar
  • 110 g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white

For the filling

  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 600 ml golden syrup
  • 150 g brown bread, crusts removed, blitzed to fine breadcrumbs (about 4 slices, to give 100g crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 ml double cream
  • pinch of salt

Equipment

  • 23cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tin, about 3cm deep
  • food processor
  • ceramic baking beans or dried pulses or rice

Method

Line the tart tin with baking parchment. To make the pastry, put the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg, blitz again until the mixture comes together and then tip the pastry onto the work surface. Squidge it into a ball, wrap it up in cling film and squish it down into a thick disc. Place the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes to rest and firm up.

When the dough has relaxed and chilled, take it out of the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a circle, about 33cm in diameter and 5mm thick. Lay the rolling pin across the pastry and fold half of the pastry over it and then use the rolling pin to lift the pastry up over the tart tin.

Gently ease the pastry into the tin, making sure to get it into the ‘corners’. I like to take a small ball of pastry, dip it into flour and then use it to gently ease the pastry into the tin. Be really careful not to stretch or pull the pastry, as this will cause it to shrink in the oven. Another tip is to dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the flour and then use it to very gently push the pastry into the ‘corners’ of the tin.

When you have lined the tin, trim off the excess pastry and place the tin in the fridge to firm up again for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4).

When the pastry is firm, remove it from the fridge. Take a piece of baking parchment and cut it into a circle, about 35cm in diameter. Scrunch it up so that it will sit in the tin, and then open it out and place it on top of the pastry case. Fill the tart tin with ceramic baking beans, dried pulses or rice, making sure they come right up the sides.

Place the tin onto a baking sheet (this makes it easier to move the tin around) and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then carefully draw up the edges of the parchment and remove from the pastry and discard. Brush the base with the egg white to help to seal it and avoid a soggy bottom, and then return the tart tin to the oven and bake for another 10–15 minutes, until the pastry case is golden brown and feels sandy to the touch.

While the pastry case is in the oven, make the filling. Put the butter and golden syrup into a pan and cook until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Once this is nicely combined, whisk in the eggs, cream and salt.

Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case and then return it to the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 150°C (fan 130°C/300°F/gas 2) and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the tart is just set through to the centre. Once the tart is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool down.

This tart is delicious served with double cream or a good vanilla ice cream and, in my opinion, it tastes best cold.