A classic British pudding for those of us with a very sweet tooth. One slice of treacle tart is never enough.
Celebrating British Food & Cooking
Treacle tart as we know it is a fairly modern invention because golden syrup was not available until the mid 1880s. It was first formulated by the Eastick brothers who were chemists in London for the sugar refiners Tate and Lyle. They were trying to make a saleable product out of a waste product from the sugar refining process which was mostly sold off as pig food.
Golden syrup has the distinction of being named by Guiness World Records in 2006 as the worlds oldest brand.
Treacle has always been popular historically with poorer families although back then it would have been black treacle or molasses. Early recipes using black treacle can be found as far back as the 17th century, mostly using bread instead of pastry.
Prior to the 17th century, treacle is known as a medicine, including being an antidote for some poisons. Next time I get stung by some stinging nettles ( a common occurrence with me ) I’m going to demand some treacle tart! It may not do much for the stinging but it will definitely make me feel better, especially with a dollop of ice cream on top.
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For the pastry:
- 225 g plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 110 g butter chilled, diced
- 1 medium free-range egg lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 450 g golden syrup
- 85 g fresh breadcrumbs
- generous pinch ground ginger
- 1 lemon zest, finely grated and 2 tbsp of the juice
- clotted cream or double cream
- In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix in the egg with a knife, then knead on a clean, lightly dusted work surface to form a smooth dough.
- Use the dough to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed tart tin, prick the base all over with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
- Line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with rice or ceramic baking beans. Bake the pastry blind for 10-15 minutes, remove the paper and rice or beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a few minutes more, until light golden-brown.
- For the filling, mix together the filling ingredients in a bowl and pour into the pastry case. Return to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold with clotted cream or double cream.