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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Treacle Tart

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Many of my Christmas memories are associated with friends and the holiday foods they favored and shared with me. At this time of year, I make as many of those dishes as I can, and while I have never grown to like it, I continue to make Lily's treacle tart because it comes served with warm and lovely memories. For those who have never tried the tart, it's a traditional English pie, much loved by Harry Potter and the gang at Hogwarts, that's baked with a thick filling of bread crumbs, lemon juice and golden syrup. Golden syrup, which is also called light treacle, is the color of honey and tastes like sugar that's cooked to a medium caramel stage. While it pours like corn syrup, any similarity between the two syrups stops there.  Corn syrup, while sweet, has almost no flavor, so the two can't be used interchangeably.  I think treacle tart is an acquired taste for those born outside the United Kingdom. The filling is intensely sweet and while it is a favorite dessert across the pond, it does take some getting use to. Lily loved it and insisted it helped balance her tart tongue. I loved Lil and make this every Christmas in her memory. Who knows, one of these days I may even grow to like it. Here's how the tart is made.

Treacle Tart...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Saveur magazine

1-1/2 cups flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided use
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
1 cup Lyle's golden syrup or molasses
6 tablespoons bread crumbs
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
Whipped cream, for serving


1. To make pastry shell: Place flour, 6 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Rub flour and butter together until pea-size crumbles form. Add 1/4 cup ice-cold water and stir until dough forms. Transfer to a work surface and form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2) To make filling: Meanwhile, heat syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until loose. Remove from heat and stir in reserved 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, bread crumbs, cream, egg, and zest. Set filling aside.
3) Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an 11″ circle and transfer to a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough and chill shell for 30 minutes. Prick bottom with a fork and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Fill with dried beans and bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Pour filling into tart shell and bake until filling is just set, about 30 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Peppermint Bark

Two Years Ago Today: Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Three Years Ago Today: Meatball Sub with Homemade Sicilian Sausage


Lynda said...

What a lovely tart Mary. It's nice to make something that has such good memories, so hopefully you will grow to like it. I have not had it so I can only say that it looks very tempting....
Have a wonderful day!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Thanks for reminding me how much I love this dish, I wonder why I have not made it for years. Keep well Diane

Rosemary said...

Making something just because of the memory is the best reason to make it. Even though I'm not fond of mincemeat pie, my mother loved it at Christmas time. I'll be making it.

Foodycat said...

I love treacle tart - with a good bit of lemon to give it an edge.

Laurie said...

I think its lovely that you make this in someones memory, even though you really don't like it.My mum made this every Christmas, we had Lyle's Golden Syrup sent to use several times a year but now we can but it here in the store, I love it in my tea, on toast and on pan cakes,

Jenn said...

This is the second time in one week I've been inspired to try a recipe with treacle, the other being a gingerbread loaf. I'm interested to learn more about this syrup... thanks for sharing!

¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jennifer

Eileen said...

I have always wondered exactly what a treacle tart was ~ I have often heard it mentioned in the British shows I watch and books I read. Now I know, so thank you for that. It sounds like it may be an acquired taste, but it sure looks delicious.

Kitchen Gypsies said...

The best kind of treat is one served with a memory. Thanks for sharing Mary.

Pondside said...

It's too sweet for me - treacle is easy to find up here - but those plates - well I just love them! :)

Sutapa said...

delicious treacle it

hobby baker said...

Wow, I do love golden syrup but you're right, that sure looks sweet. I so enjoy these nostalgic recipes though. I'd try making it as tassie sized tart to mellow out all that filling. Though since everyone loved that maple walnut tart so much, this just might go over!

bellini said...

Coming from a British background I have heard of Golden syrup which my mom would serve with pancakes but treacle tart is new to me.

Anonymous said...

We always made tarts with a similar recipe. It always saved arguments amongst the kids about who got a bigger piece of the pie. Granny also used to make "Brown Sugar" pie, where she replace the store-bought syrup with a home-made brown sugar syrup.

Sparkly Jules said...

I'll bar darned. I'd always wondered what a treacle tart was; now I know. I don't think I would ever make this, but it sounds much nicer than what I thought treacle was in my head. :-P

Thanks Mary.


Ginny said...

I know the name Treacle, from olde English novels!!! The word itself does have a rather nasty sound. What is the syrup made of? Well the tart looks good, wish I could taste it!!!

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Yummy treacle tart....

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I love all your stories about the food you make. I don't like really sweet pies but I family loved them. Beautiful photo as always!

Lindalou said...

I have to say that when I read the title, my nose turned up a bit. Treacle just doesn't sound like anything anyone should be eating.

I appreciate your explanation and now it seems quite lovely.


Our boarding school growing up, had a British influence, so we used to have Lyle's Golden syrup on ice cream. Haven't thought of that in along time.


Sue/the view from great island said...

I think this looks light and delicious...and treacle is a lot more palatable than our molasses!

What's Baking?? said...

Lovely tart. Love to have some. Have a good day, Mary.

Kim Garceau said...

This English tart would please me!!!!

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