Sweet and sticky, treacle tart is classic comfort food but it’s important to get the balance of ingredients right – the ratios of lemon, crumbs and golden syrup are crucial – so that it’s not too heavy or stodgy. We’ve used cake crumbs here to give the tart a velvety texture that you can’t achieve with the usual breadcrumbs. Serve with some thick Jersey cream.
|Butter for greasing|
|For the pastry:|
|85g||unsalted butter, softened|
|200g||plain flour, plus extra for dusting|
|For the filling:|
|100g||cake crumbs (from a plain or vanilla sponge cake)|
|Finely grated zest of 1 lemon|
|1½ tsp||freshly squeezed lemon juice (from above lemon)|
You will need a 23cm round tart tin and pie weights or baking beans (for weighing down pastry case in tin).
First, make the pastry. In a bowl, cream the butter until soft. Sift the icing sugar into the creamed butter and beat until fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolk and beat to combine. Then add the flour all at once and beat just until the flour is incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using, or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly and bring to room temperature before using.
When the pastry is ready to use, melt the butter and lightly brush a 23cm round tart tin with some of it, reserving a little for later. Roll the sweet crust pastry out to a thickness of 2mm and carefully line the prepared tin. Trim the edges of the pastry but leave a little hanging over the sides of the tin (this will keep the pastry from slipping down inside the tart) and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to I80°C/gas 4. Gently warm the golden syrup in a heavy-bottomed pan to soften it, then pour the syrup into a large bowl and whisk in the double cream. Crack the egg into a jug and break it up with a fork before whisking into the cream and syrup mixture. Add the cake crumbs, ground almonds and lemon zest and juice. Set this mixture aside.
Remove the pastry-lined tin from the fridge and brush the chilled pastry with the remaining melted butter (you may need to reheat it slightly). Line the pastry with a piece of baking paper big enough to cover the bottom and sides and then fill it with pie weights or baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the paper and the beans and return the pastry to the oven for 5-7 minutes until it just starts to turn slightly darker. Remove from the oven.
Turn the oven down to I70°C/gas 3.
Give the treacle filling a good stir and then pour it into the pre-baked pastry. Place the tart in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling is set and the edges of the pastry are golden. Allow the tart to cool completely in the tin before cutting it into slices. The tart will keep in the fridge for 4 days.
Preparation time 75 mins including chilling