Classic treacle tart
- January 2014
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 35 min, oven time 60-70 min, plus chilling and cooling
This classic treacle tart is made all the more brilliant because you can make it in advance and freeze until needed.
No time to make pastry from scratch? This lemony treacle tart uses shop-bought sweet shortcrust pastry.
- 16.2g (7.9g saturated)
- 79.1g (58.2g sugars)
- 175g day-old white breadcrumbs, from a good quality loaf (see tip)
- 725g golden syrup
- Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp double cream
- Extra-thick double cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
For the pastry case:
- 225g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- ½ tsp salt
- 65g chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 65g chilled lard, cut into pieces
- 1½-2 tbsp cold water
- For the pastry case, sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and lard, then whizz briefly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1½-2 tbsp cold water and whizz again, very briefly, using the pulse button, until the mixture starts to form clumps (only add more water if it looks too dry), then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Roll out and use to line a 23cm x 3.5cm deep loose-bottomed flan tin. Prick the base here and there with a fork, then chill for 20 minutes (see food team’s tip).
- Put a baking sheet into the oven and preheat it to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line the pastry case with a crumpled sheet of baking paper and a layer of baking beans/uncooked rice. (See our how to bake blind video below.) Put the case onto the hot baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry edges are biscuit-coloured. Remove the baking paper and beans/rice, then return it to the oven for 5-6 minutes or until the base of the case is golden brown. Remove and lower the oven temperature to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½.
- Put the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Stand the tin of golden syrup in a pan of hot water to warm through and become runny, but don’t let it get too hot. Weigh out the required amount into a saucepan and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice, followed by the beaten eggs and cream. Drizzle the warm syrup mixture over the breadcrumbs and allow it to sink in, giving a very gentle stir, if necessary, to incorporate all the breadcrumbs (overmixing will give you a dense, chewy filling). Set to one side for 5 minutes to allow the crumbs to swell slightly.
- Pour the mixture into the pastry case and evenly distribute the breadcrumbs through the syrupy mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning the tin now and then so it cooks evenly, until the filling is just set and golden brown around the edges. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a serving plate and serve, cut into thin wedges, with some extra thick double cream or ice cream.
To make white breadcrumbs the easy way, remove and discard the crusts from a day-old loaf, cut the bread into chunks and whizz in a food processor. Freeze in bags for up to 3 months until needed.
Don’t poke too many holes in the pastry base before blind baking it, otherwise the syrup in the filling might seep out and stick it to the tin. To minimise leakage, brush lightly beaten egg white over the blind baked case, then return to the oven for 5 minutes before filling.
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