Treacle tart – what the heck is it?? Well, I’ll tell you – it’s an English dessert, and I am pretty sure you have heard of it even if you’ve never tasted one. Hints: it’s Harry Potter’s favorite, and the childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang used it to lure kids out of hiding.
But what IS it? It’s a pie-like concoction, made with a shortcrust (read: tons of butter) and filled with an odd mixture of bread crumbs and liquid sugar, and it almost rhymes with twinkle.. Intrigued yet?
I scoured the ‘net and combined a couple of recipes to come up with the following. It fits in one regular pie pan, which is a good ‘try-it’ size for new desserts around here. Everything I’ve read says it’s best served warm, and with something on the side – whipped cream, ice cream, clotted cream (whatever that is). I got vanilla ice cream, can’t go wrong there. So, how’s it taste? It’s interesting and difficult to describe. It’s sweet, like desserts should be, and it has a definite taste of lemon and ginger, and reminds me of lemon curd. The texture is soft and mushy but not runny. All in all it’s pretty good, I think.
Without further ado, the recipe I cobbled together:
Whir up in a food processor: 2.5 cups flour, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Then pulse in: 1 cup of cold butter, cut into chunks
In a mixing bowl, mix up: two egg yolks, 1/3 cup heavy cream, and 1 tsp vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir together to make a pastry dough. Wrap in plastic, refrigerate for an hour or two.
When firm, divide roughly in half and roll the larger half out to a 12″ circle. USE LOTS OF FLOUR – this is a very sticky dough. Carefully lay in a pie pan, pressing into place. Trim extra dough.
For filling, mix together: 1 cup golden syrup (available at Cost Plus World Market and online), 2 cups fresh bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1 Tbsp molasses, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg, juice and zest of one lemon.
Pour filling into pie pan. Roll out the other half of the pastry dough and cut into strips; lay on top as a lattice. Bake at 400*F for 1o minutes and then lower heat to 375*F and bake for 25 minutes. Cool a bit, serve warm (with ice cream!)