a proper english treacle tart

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Hi lovelies! Hope you are all having a great holiday season.

One of the downsides about dating an Englishman is that you have to listen to incessant whinging for all of the English treats that he misses and simply cannot obtain in the US, or at least not properly. This list includes a good Sunday roast with proper roast potatoes, back bacon, bangers, raspberry ripple ice cream, Cornish pasties, mince pies and treacle tart. I have heard about this mythical treacle tart for years now, and admit that I have always been a bit curious. The crust is relatively straightforward, but the filling boggles the {American} mind – Lyle’s golden syrup is mixed with breadcrumbs, lemon zest and juice and a pinch of ground ginger, and then baked until set. The result is somewhat akin to a pecan pie, without the pecans – a luxuriously sweet mess of stickiness, which is tempered slightly by the acidity of the lemon and a dollop of simple whipped cream. For all of you pecan pie lovers or anyone else with an extreme sweet tooth {like Matt}, I highly recommend giving this decidedly English treat a try.

Treacle1Treacle2Recipe

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2. c. unsalted butter, chilled, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound golden syrup {I used Lyle’s}
  • 1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lemon, zest, finely grated and 2 tablespoons of the juice

In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the salt and mix until thoroughly combined. 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 9 inch removable bottom tart pan, prick the base all over with a fork and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the pastry blind for 10-15 minutes, remove the paper and weights or beans and return the tart shell 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 tart shell. Return to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold with fresh whipped cream.

Adapted from bbc food

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23 Responses to a proper english treacle tart

  1. chef mimi says:

    It makes my teeth hurt to think about 1 pound of golden syrup! But my oh my does that tart look beautiful. And one slice is a worthwhile indulgence…

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha – I hear you Mimi! It had to be one of the most decadently sweet treats I have had in a loooong time. An overly sweet indulgence is necessary every so often! :) Hope you had a lovely holiday season! xoxo

  2. I am so making this, my mind is officially boggled. No eggs, breadcrumbs, lyles (my favorite). I love the sweet gooey part of the pecan pie. Thanks for this recipe, I have been wanting to make something just like this. Happy Holidays!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha – glad to have officially boggled your mind as well! :) I had never heard of Lyle’s until I started dating the Whinging Englishman – now I think it’s really quite wonderful, and would love to discover other ways to use it! I did use Lyle’s syrup in my sea salt caramels instead of regular corn syrup, and think it turned out so much better. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2014! xoxo

  3. Cecile says:

    I never had any idea a treacle tart would look so delicious. In fact, it very much resembles French Canadian Sugar Pies (made with brown sugar). Thanks for posting this recipe !!! (Now I understand why your boyfriend has missed these pies!!)

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha thank you Cecile! I haven’t heard of sugar pies – how intriguing! I guess every culture must have its own version of a decadently sweet pie! Hope you had a wonderful holiday! xoxo

      • Cecile says:

        “Sugar Pie’s ARE delicious. But… some of them are so sweet that eating a piece almost makes your teeth hurt!
        I got a recipe from my husband’s aunt which I like very much. In her recipe a bit of heavy cream is mixed with the sugar etc. Question – sometimes heavy cream is poured over a slice of Sugar Pie. Is that ever done with the treacle tarts?

  4. Emma says:

    Same here in Germany. Its just really hard (and expencive) to come by some good british products. Luckily i’ve got a stach of golden sirup hidden in the cupboard. I love it. The taste reminds me of cottoncandy and childhood. Treacle tart is just a tad too much of a very good thing. Well, its christmas a time to indulge ;-) Take care. Emma

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha fantastic! Yes, I agree treacle tart was a bit too sweet for everyday eating, but it did seem appropriate for the over-indulgence we have been experiencing over the holidays! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comment. Hope you had a lovely holiday in Germany! xoxo

  5. That looks smashing – I love a good treacle tart. Perhaps I’ll post my recipe sometime next year :D.

  6. What a beautiful tart… I’m definitely in for a try.. :-)

  7. Matt says:

    Mmmmm… this was delicious – my favourite! Only wish i hadn’t devoured it so quickly!
    Love you!
    The Whinging Englishman

  8. Brittany says:

    Ooooh very intriguing!! I’m a huge fan of the gooey factor in pecan pie, so I can definitely get down with this. Lovely photos! :)

  9. Oh yes, the treacle tart. I grew up with a father who lived for treacle tart and jam roly-poly. Love the Whinging Englishman’s comment above!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha yes the Whinging Englishman is quite clever, isn’t he? :) I must investigate this jam roly poly further – I am intrigued! Hope you had a lovely holiday season! xoxo

  10. laurasmess says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful tart Lindsay. Golden filling, beautifully crisp pastry… perfect. I’m a huge fan of the traditional English treacle tart (as my father is English, so I grew up on them!) and yours looks just like my grandmother’s. I actually have a can of Lyle’s on my pantry shelf, maybe I should follow in your footsteps and keep the tradition going :) Hope that you and Matt had a wonderful Christmas with the family. Haha, I didn’t realise that he was English… I relate to the whinging (my Dad misses his pork pies, eccles cakes, Yorkie bars, Marks & Spencer prawn cocktail crisps and other such treats terribly! So do I, as a matter of fact!). Hugs, sorry for not visiting more frequently. The end of this year has been ridiculously busy but you’ll always be a blogging sister that I think of often xo

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      So good to hear from you Laura! Your comments are always such a delight to read! :) All of your dad’s cravings sound amazing! Matt has been known to sneak a Yorkie bar home from our local grocery store on occasion, and to eat the entire thing in one sitting without sharing. Apparently there used to be some rather sexist advertising campaign by Yorkie back in the day that indicated that Yorkies were only for boys? :) How un-PC but hilarious! Hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you and your loved ones have an incredible 2014! xoxo

  11. Okay, I have always wondered what a treacle tart looks like — it was mentioned all the time in the Harry Potter series (#nerdalert). It looks so lovely and golden and festive! Love it.

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha love it Victoria! I had no idea that Harry Potter mentioned a treacle tart. The food reference actually makes me want to give those books a read! :) Hope you had an amazing holiday in NY. xoxo

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