Old Fashioned Treacle Tart

I seem to be obsessing about puddings right now   Unusual for me as I don’t have a very sweet tooth.  I can’t keep blaming the change of weather but there is something about Autumn that begs for warming stews and “proper puddings”  as my husband would call them (he is definitely obsessed with puddings).   Just the thing to come home to after a walk or have with a Sunday lunch   In fact I think proper puddings are made for Sunday lunches…….then again this Treacle Tart is also very good to have sliced with a cup of tea

Treacle Tart is one of those proper puddings.  It’s a wonderfully British and rather old-fashioned pudding which, if homemade, isn’t as cloyingingly sweet as commercial ones. In fact I would go so far as to say that if you make this it will make you think again about what Treacle Tart is really like. The bread gives it a nutty texture – particularly if you use sourdough or wheaten breadcrumbs – and the zest and juice of a lemon balances the sweetness of the golden syrup and honey. I like it to serve it with a little greek yoghurt or cream but icecream, double cream or lashings of custard do very well too.

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I remember going to and Italian cookery class and being told that Italians make fresh bread everyday.  “But what do they do with all the leftover bread?” I asked.  “We have so many recipes using bread”, came the reply “that none is ever wasted.”

Whilst I don’t make bread every day, (!!!) I do put any stale bread I have (when I remember) into the food processor and blitz it into crumbs which I then store in the freezer.  I use them to add a crunch on top of dishes such as cauliflower cheese.  I fry them in butter and olive oil to go with pasta.  I use them to thicken sauces.  I use them in puddings.  The list of its uses goes on and on…..

Treacle Tart is, in my opinion,  the ultimate recipe for using up those crumbs. Frozen or fresh ones made from bread that’s over a day old.   I like to make the pastry the day before, and there is an easy recipe for Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sucre)  on the site.  However, shop bought shortcrust is very good and use that if you prefer.  I also make the filling the day before (so the crumbs have a chance to plump up and absorb the liquid making the finished tart extra luscious) and then I just assemble the tart and bake on the day.  You can use a round flan tin 20-24cm diameter or an oblong one 35x10x2cm (which I find easier for slicing evenly)

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 1 egg
  • 125ml double cream
  • 100g day-old breadcrumbs, sourdough for preference (frozen or freshly made, see above)
  • 300g golden syrup
  • 40g clear honey
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 300g Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (bought or homemade)

Method

  1. Put egg and cream together in a bowl and beat together
  2. Warm golden syrup and honey in saucepan to make them easier to work with and add to cream mix
  3. Add almonds, breadcrumbs and zest and juice of lemon to the bowl and combine.  Cover and leave in fridge overnight if possible  to allow breadcrumbs to plump up though you can skip this step if you are short on time
  4. Roll out pastry to line an oblong or round flan tin
  5. Prick pastry all over with fork, cover with cling film and allow to rest for 30 mins in fridge to stop shrinkage
  6. Heat oven to 160c
  7. Pour filling into flan case (no need to blind bake) and cook for 40-45 mins until lightly browned and just set.
  8. Allow to cool before slicing.

TIPS

I sometimes make a double batch of pastry and line 2 tart tins, one of which I wrap and put in freezer.  This is also a handy tip for when you are entertaining and don’t want the mess of rolling out pastry on the day but want a freshly baked tart.  You can use the pastry lined tart tins straight from frozen

 

1 Comment

  1. This looks so warm and homey– and you are so right about fall being the perfect time to bake up some thing sweet! We’re back in California now, but we lived in Spain for several years and they eat a whole lot of bread from neighborhood bakeries. Sounds like Italy!! Love the photo of you tart–mouthwatering!

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