Quick and Easy recipe for treacle tarts
I decided to choose one of the quintessential British recipes of the simply legendary Mary Berry, Queen of Cakes. It lacks Mary’s finesse, mostly because I have nowhere near her expertise, but partly because I was providing a British gluten-free dessert for an internationally-flavored Thanksgiving (an American tradition I have come to adore, thanks to my lovely friend). Trying to make a pastry lattice with gluten-free pastry was just a step too far.
Treacle tart has a fairly misleading name, since treacle, or molasses, is not used. Rather, it is treacle’s sweeter, more palatable cousin, golden syrup. This is a uniquely British ingredient – I think the American equivalent would be something like corn syrup, but I’m not entirely sure.
This is basically a classic British pud, best served warm with custard. It reminds me of family Sunday lunches, of jumping back up to the table once the adults had finally finished talking and pudding was ready. It is a tart I have introduced to friends and one which will remain a family favorite.
I’ve adapted the traditional recipe to make it gluten-free, but you can find the old-fashioned recipe of this tart here, including lattice top. Here is how to make simple treacle tarts.
For the pastry
- 8 oz gluten-free plain flour blend
- 4 oz butter
- 1 egg beaten
For the filling
- 12 oz golden syrup
- 5 oz white breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon
- For the pastry, rub the flour and butter together between your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Bring together with a little water and a small amount of the beaten egg.
- Cover in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Once the pastry is chilled and rested, sprinkle some flour on a worktop and rolling pin. Roll out until fairly thin. Place into a round pie dish and cut away edges. Prick base with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 180oC.
- To make the filling, heat the golden syrup gently until it is a thin liquid, but do not let it boil. Finely grate about half the lemon zest, then squeeze in all the juice. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until it becomes a thick mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set and golden-brown.
- Leave to cool in the tin. Serve warm with custard or cream.
What is treacle tart?
Treacle tart is a beloved and classic British dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. It’s often associated with childhood memories and family gatherings.
This sweet and indulgent cake is a staple of British cuisine and has made appearances in various forms of popular culture, including literature, where it is famously mentioned in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” where it’s one of Harry’s favorite desserts.
The origins of treacle tart can be traced back to medieval England, where it was originally made with treacle, a byproduct of refining sugar from sugarcane or sugar beets. Treacle was used as a sweetener in many traditional British desserts. Over time, the treacle tart recipe evolved to use golden syrup, a sweet syrup made from sugar cane or sugar beet juice, as the primary sweetening agent.