Food & Drink Magazine

Deep Treacle Tart

By Risingtotheberry @rising2theberry

Recipe Number One Hundred & Eighty Six:  Page 272.
This recipe easily wonthe vote on my Facebook Poll; obviously we can't resist a helping oftreacle tart. I haven't attempted this popular dessert before, so Iwas surprised to discover that breadcrumbs play such a key role. Iwould never have guessed!
My little boy wasspending the morning with his grandparents and Neil was attending yetanother interview. I had the house all to myself! I took theopportunity to potter around with my hair stuck up on end and stayedwrapped in my dressing gown for as long as possible. I looked througha few books and did a minimal amount of tidying. The peace was heavenfor a while but I soon found myself missing Isaac's constantchatter!!
The rain was stillpersistently falling when I started baking. Through the kitchenwindow I watched a soggy blackbird repeatedly shake the water fromits feathers. I feared it was fighting a losing battle! I felt gladto be inside in the dry, while turning on the oven certainly helpedto warm things up. I admit that I wasn't looking forward to the firsttask. I do not enjoy making pastry! It is not the process itself butthe rolling out. It always seems to go wrong, the dough falls apartand the end result looks untidy. I find it very stressful!!
To make the dough Imeasured some plain flour into my mixing bowl and then rubbed in somechilled butter. My cold butter was rock hard and it took an age forit to rub into the flour. I was terrified that I had over worked it.Mary says to pour in two tablespoons of cold water. I tried tocombine all the ingredients together to form a firm dough but it wasimpossible. The mixture was very dry and I required almost double thesuggested amount of water. Once I had managed to form the dough intoa ball, I wrapped it in cling film to rest in the fridge for twentyminutes. At this point Neil and Isaac arrived home. Isaac offered mea smile and a cheery ‘Hello!’ before heading straight over to thefridge to play with his magnets. No cuddle for Mummy!!
It was soon time totake the chilled dough from the fridge and face the dreaded rollingout. Instead of using flour on the worktop I simply placed the ballof dough on a sheet of greaseproof paper. The rolling out processwasn't as painful as I had feared. Despite a few cracks I managed totransfer it to the flan tin with only a few minor repairs necessary.Now it was time to make the filling. I was quite excited about usingmy blender to make breadcrumbs! I'd never tried it before and verymuch hoped that it would work. I was instructed to use fresh breadbut I wasn't sure if I should use the crusts or not. I expect I couldhave put them to use but, as I wasn't sure, I decided to cut themoff. I shoved a few slices of bread into my blender and quicklydiscovered that I'd overloaded the poor machine. It transpired that Ihad to work my way through over half a loaf one slice at time. Alittle tedious, but it didn't take too long. I loved making thebreadcrumbs (I'm easily pleased) and felt tempted to carry on andmake more! I think I will always have a large stock in the freezerfrom now on. In fact the blended crusts are already in there waitingto be used!
As the word treacle isin the title of the recipe I half expected to crack open a tin ofblack treacle. However, I was of course to use golden syrup and lotsof it too. I weighed the sticky substance into my largest saucepanand warmed it gently on the hob. I quickly grabbed two large lemons,grated the zest and collected their juice. This tart was going to bevery lemony as well as treacly. Into the warm golden syrup I tippedthe enormous mountain of breadcrumbs along with the zest and juice.Mary says to add more breadcrumbs if the mixture appears too runny.Apparently it can depend on whether you use white or brown bread. Iused white and my mixture appeared to be just right. It was thickwithout any excess liquid. I tipped it into the awaiting pastry case.I was surprised that I hadn't needed to blind bake the case first; Ihoped and prayed that my tart didn't end up with the dreaded soggybottom!
I placed the tin onto apre-heated tray in the hot oven. It had to cook for ten minutes at areasonably high temperature and then be turned down for the remainingcooking time. After the full forty minutes in the oven I thought itshould be ready and cooked through. The pastry may have looked alittle anaemic but the filling was in danger of burning. I left it tocool in the tin for half an hour but I couldn't wait any longer thanthat; I was dying to try a piece!
The tart sliced wellbut was thinner than I had expected. On further inspection I wasdelighted to see that the base of the tart was not in the least bitsoggy, hurrah! I did wonder if the pastry was a bit too thin. I neverknow how thick or thin it should be and I rarely get it right! Thefilling tasted strongly of both treacle and lemon which made for aheavenly combination. The texture was vaguely chewy and sticky. Lateron in the evening we thought we should try a slice cold. This waspurely for research purposes of course! The filling had become alittle chewier; while I thought the lemon flavor was perhaps alittle stronger. I preferred it cold while Neil preferred it warm!
I had great fun makingthis deep treacle tart. It was fairly easy and simple to make and itreally did taste quite delicious. This is one to add to my make againlist. It's really just another excuse to make breadcrumbs!!!!

Deep Treacle Tart

A bit of a pale tart and shame about the reflection on the plate!

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