Treacle Tart. If someone asks me what my favourite dessert is it has to be a treacle tart. It has to be served warm and preferably with a large dollop of clotted cream. My husband has to have it with custard and my mum prefers ice cream. At this point I have to say that with treacle tart I’m not a fan of sharing. I am quite happy to secretly eat it, Nigella style, in huge portions until the treacle tart is no more. There, I’ve confessed, my very dirty treacle tart secret!
What are the ingredients?
This tart used pantry staples so you can make it when you don't have time to shop for extra ingredients.
For the pastry
- 225 g plain/all purpose flour
- 70 g butter
- 60 g lard
- 1 beaten egg
There is no sugar in the pastry as the filling is already sweet. The addition of lard makes the pastry melt in the mouth.
For the filling
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- zest of a lemon
- 60 g chopped pecans
- 140 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 500 g golden syrup
The breadcrumbs have to be fresh in that a packet of breadcrumbs for breading cannot be used as a substitute. The breadcrumbs can easily be made from stale bread and frozen. When I have leftover bread I blitz in the food processor then add to a bag in the freezer. It's useful for stuffings or toasting and using as breading for fish, chicken or vegetables
How to make the Treacle Tart
Many tarts have a rich sugary pastry but I think that treacle tart is rich enough so my pastry is a classic butter and lard mix that is slightly more fat to flour. My grandma always made her pastry this way but in her day margarine was the norm. Like me, she couldn’t stand getting messy hands so she made her pastry with a fork.
I prefer to put the the lard, butter and flour in the food processor, pulse until it gets to the breadcrumb stage and then add a little beaten egg before bringing it together to a dough by hand. This pastry is very melting, which means it can be difficult to work with. Patch it if you need to but be careful not to leave any gaps or the sugar in the filling will weld the pastry to the tin.
Line a loose bottom tart tin with the pastry and lightly prick with a fork before refrigerating for 20 minutes. Put the tart tin on a baking sheet and bake blind while you make the filling. If you get cracks when you remove the paper use a pastry brush and the remaining beaten egg to paint on to the base before cooking for a few minutes more.
It’s really easy to be fooled by the ‘treacle tart’ title of this dish because there is no actual treacle in the dish! In fact, I hate treacle, the mere smell of it turns my stomach, but the magic combination of golden syrup and breadcrumbs is truly irresistible. Just put the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest, pecans and the ginger. To make it easier to work with the syrup, stand the tin of golden syrup or bottle in a bowl of warm water before measuring out. Add to the breadcrumbs and mix to combine. Place the filling into the pastry case and spread out. Bake for 40 minutes at 170 C .
Lots of treacle tarts have a lattice top but the filling is the best part so why mess about? By the time I’ve put the filling in the case I just want to put it in the oven and get ready to eat it! It cuts better if you leave it in the tin for a while if you can.
- use honey or maple syrup as a substitute for golden syrup
- swap the pecans for walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts or macadamias
- change the ginger powder for chopped preserved stem ginger
- use wholemeal or brown bread crumbs
More dessert recipes to try
- Salted Caramel Mille Feuilles
- Strawberry Galette
- 2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
- Apple Caramel Crumble Tart
- Nutella Macarons
- Lavender Creme Brulee
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
- French Bread and Butter Pudding
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
Treacle Tart with Ginger and Pecans
- 225 g plain flour
- 70 g butter
- 60 g lard
- 1 egg beaten
- For filling
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 lemon zest of
- 60 g pecans chopped
- 140 g breadcrumbs fresh white
- 500 g golden syrup
- Make the pastry by combining flour, lard and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough beaten egg to make a dough and roll out to line a 23 cm tin. Lightly prick the bottom and chill for 20 minutes.
- Bake the pastry cases blind on a baking sheet at 200° for about 15 minutes until the edges are golden. Remove the paper and bake for a further five minutes until the base is golden.
- Put the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest, pecans and the ginger. Stand the tin of golden syrup or bottle in warm water and then measure out the syrup. Add to the breadcrumbs and mix to combine.
- Place the filling into the pastry case and spread out. Bake for 40 minutes at 170 C .
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