My Famous Treacle Tart
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    Serves 6–8
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I’m not the best pastry cook around, but I do know a good tart when I see one. This treacle tart is simply one of those perfect recipes that you know you can rely on time after time. It’s not very difficult to make, it just requires a bit of quality time.

With fresh seasonal ingredients being fairly limited during the month of March, the store cupboard comes into its own, along with the addition of freshly grated lemon zest – ah, that smell is divine! It’s amazing how a grating and squeeze of fresh lemon can transform something so simple into a mouthful of pure pleasure, and this recipe demonstrates that perfectly.

As with our ethos and everything else we believe in at the British Larder, we buy and use the best ingredients we can possibly afford. Moving to Suffolk was in one way very easy, as we knew that the produce, ingredients and suppliers in the area are second to none. When we were first introduced to Chris Brennan, the owner and very capable baker of Pump Street Bakery in Orford, it was like a breath of fresh air and Pump Street Bakery has been a godsend to us ever since. Ross and I believe that we should buy a product if it’s better than one we can make ourselves – Chris’s bread is definitely one of those products and one that we use every day in our restaurant.

Inevitably, we do acquire quite a lot of leftover bread, so I tend to whizz it up into breadcrumbs and then start thinking of the tasty recipes I can make to use them all up. I use Chris’s sourdough bread in my Christmas puddings and I’m still convinced that it’s my secret ingredient in creating the best Christmas puddings I have ever made. I often freeze leftover breadcrumbs to use as and when required, and this recipe is a perfect way of using up some of those breadcrumbs. I have had this treacle tart recipe for years and it’s been a popular dessert on many occasions in the past, like a trusty old friend, so here it is for you to make and enjoy for yourself.

photo of My Famous Treacle Tartphoto of My Famous Treacle Tartphoto of My Famous Treacle Tart

Ingredients & Method

  • 100g day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed (weight given is for crust-less bread)
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml double cream
  • 300g golden syrup
  • 40g clear honey
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 300g Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

The breadcrumb mixture is prepared then chilled overnight in the fridge, so you will need to start this recipe a day in advance (see Cook’s Notes).

Whizz the sourdough bread in a food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. Set aside. Whisk the egg and cream together in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Gently heat the golden syrup and honey together in a small saucepan, just enough to make them runnier and easier to mix. Remove from the heat. Whisk the warmed golden syrup and honey and lemon zest and juice into the egg mixture, then stir in the ground almonds and breadcrumbs. Cover and leave the mixture to rest in the fridge overnight.

The following day, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 2mm thickness and use it to line a (loose-bottomed, if you like) 35 x 10 x 2.5cm fluted oblong flan tin (leaving a slight overhang of pastry) . Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.

Whisk the chilled breadcrumb mixture and pour it into the chilled pastry case. Bake in the oven for 40–45 minutes or until lightly set and golden – the tart will still have a gentle wobble in the centre but this will firm up once cooled.

Remove from the oven to a wire rack and leave the tart to cool completely in the tin. Once cold, trim the overhanging pastry from the top edges of the tart with a small serrated knife, then carefully remove the tart from the tin and cut it into slices. Serve with whipped Chantilly cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.

Cook’s Notes

I recommend using an oblong fluted flan tin instead of a round one for this recipe, so that the tart cooks more evenly and is easier to cut and handle.

Use fresh bread that is a day old, cut the crusts off and use the inside of the loaf only. You can use regular white bread for this recipe, but I prefer sourdough as it gives the tart that extra special taste. Do not use dried breadcrumbs.

Be patient when making this tart and follow the recipe – leave the breadcrumb mixture to rest overnight in the fridge, do not overcook the tart, and leave it to cool completely before cutting and eating.