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May, 2020

  1. Treacle Tart

    May 10, 2020 by sarah

    I started this blog post over 6 months ago and never got to the stage of finishing and publishing it. It may not be the time of year for stodgy, warming food with the current summer-like weather, but it is most definitely the time for comfort food! Especially recipes that are easy to make. With flour in short supply at the moment, I recommend you use ready made pastry, either fresh or frozen works, as the supermarkets seem to be stocking this at the moment without issues. The recipe contains only a couple of eggs so hopefully you can spare these and I have seen the local supermarket selling golden syrup. Satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings!

    November 2019 It is that time of year when I am craving comforting, warming food. Calorie heavy but oh so tasty. Something to keep out the cold from the inside. For those of you that have not had a traditional British treacle tart before may well be put off by the unprepossessing list of ingredients and even the name but this is definitely one of those dishes where the finished article far exceeds the sum of its parts. For a start is made with something called golden syrup, a buy-product of sugar making, either cane or beet. Treacle tarts are no longer made with true treacle or molasses which modern palates would find too strong and bitter tasting. Golden syrup has its own distinct but subtle flavour of slightly caramel-like and a hint of acidity at the end that makes it so moreish. It is a partially inverted sugar so I often use it if I have run out of commercial invert sugar in my confectionery and chocolate making. It is nothing like corn syrup and corn syrup cannot and must not be substituted in this recipe.

    I love the tin that Tate and Lyle Golden Syrup comes in but it wasn’t until I made this recipe did I notice the picture on the front and looked up what it means. The tin bears a picture of a rotting carcass of a lion with a swarm of bees and the slogan “Out of the strong came forth sweetness”. It is apparently a Biblical reference but rather gross! Luckily that does not reflect on the contents of the tin.

    This recipe is an amalgamation from several online but particularly this one in The Guardian from Felicity Cloake, the tester of all good recipes. Makes 8 generous slices or 10 good sized slices; the remainder freezes well. Serve with your favourite additional calorie side such as cream, custard or vanilla ice-cream. Delicious at room temperature or my favourite, slightly warm from the oven. Do not store in the fridge!

    Treacle Tart

    • 500g block ready made short-crust pastry (do not use sweetened or enriched pastry) or make your own with 300g flour and 150g butter.
    • 50g butter
    • 400g golden syrup – sit the jar in a bowl of hot water
    • 140g white breadcrumbs, made with slightly stale or toasted bread
    • 2 medium eggs, well beaten
    • 3 tablespoons of double cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest of one lemon
    • Optional – couple of knobs of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped.

    Use the pastry to line a 23-24cm deep, loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill well while an oven heats to 200 C/fan 180 C. Prick the bottom of the pastry case, line with foil or grease-proof paper and weigh down with rice/beans/pastry ceramic beads. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes until just going golden, remove the blind baking stuff and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Remove and brush the bottom well with some of the beaten egg and return to the oven for another few minutes to cook the egg – this will stop any sticky leakages!

    Reduce the oven temperature to 140 C.

    Melt the butter in a pan, add the golden syrup and continue to heat until warm through.

    Remove from the heat and add the eggs, cream, lemon and, if using, the ginger and stir well together. Pour over the breadcrumbs, mix swiftly and allow to sit for a few minutes. Do not over mix otherwise it will become chewy.

    Pour the filling mixture into the pastry case, sit all on a large baking sheet to collect any oozes and return to the oven at the lower temperature. It will need 35-40 minutes, and is cooked when still a little soft in the centre and only a hint of golden-brown colour on the outside edge.