Making Treacle Tart

Harry Potter fans in the US may be surprised to know that this sugar pie has been around a whole lot longer than J.K. Rowling. As I discussed last week, it’s an ancient treat older than Dumbledore…even Hogwarts I’ll venture. A good treacle tart is sweet and lemony with just a hint of ginger spice. Served in a small slice — which is all anyone needs of something so sugary — it makes a soothing treat on a cold day.

Like most tarts it’s not the filling that takes the time, it’s the crust. To make this you’ll need one recipe savory tart crust (this tart is sweet enough) rolled and pre-baked for fifteen minutes with the foil and weights, ten without. You want it baked but not browned. You’ll have extra dough when you’re done. Freeze it and save it for another purpose.

Once the crust is ready it’s pretty much all down hill. Combine your filling ingredients save for the bread crumbs in a bowl. Some people like to add a few tablespoons of molasses for a darker color. In fact the whole thing can be made with a light molasses, just not blackstrap (stroop) which is inedible in pie form.

Stir.

Sprinkle half the crumbs (or rolled oats) into the prepared crust.

Pour in the sweet stuff.

Then the last of the crumbs.

And bake for half an hour until it’s bubbling and risen in the center.

Done! I should add that you should check the crust after the first fifteen minutes. If it’s just the right color brown, curl some strips of aluminum foil over the exposed crust to stop it from getting any darker.

Allow the tart to cool for two hours. Serve to your favorite muggles. Oh, and with lightly whipped cream. That’s a must with a tart that’s this sweet.

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9 Responses to Making Treacle Tart

  1. Linda says:

    I always imagined this to be heavier and darker in flavor and texture. Never sounded that appealing but this sounds tasty…if sweet. Kinda like a southern chess pie.

    • joepastry says:

      It can be darker depending on what sort of “treacle” you use. I Britain the world can mean refiner’s syrup or molasses, which is of course a lot darker. Seem people like to add a few tablespoons of a dark molasses to the filling just for color.

      Thanks for the comment!

      - Joe

  2. Melinda says:

    Ooh, Joe – this makes my teeth hurt just to look at it. It’s really pretty, though. It reminds me of sweets in Latin America that are so sweet your eyes water.

    • joepastry says:

      I love those…when I’m in the right mood of course. Mrs. Pastry is a candy fanatic from way back, which explains her copious dentistry. So she especially loves both this tart and Latin American sweets (which she gets quite a bit, being a Spanish professor at a big state university). I went to Morelia, Mexico about three years ago. It’s a city known for candy. Someday I must bring my wife there, though I fear she will never leave!

      Thanks, Melinda!

      - Joe

  3. kate gatacre says:

    Hi Joe,
    We make this often at home, but to reduce the sweetness, we mix in grated apple, lots of fresh breadcrumbs and lemon zest… it also makes it a bit lighter!

    • joepastry says:

      I’ve seen the apple versions, I’m going to try that one of these days!

      - Jim

      • Jess says:

        It looks absolutely gorgeous!!!! And I have always wondered what a treacle tart was while reading Harry Potter :)
        The idea of mixing in apple seems like a healthier version for the elderly, so I will be waiting for that recipe too:)

        • joepastry says:

          Hey Jess!

          Actually all you need to do is add about a cup and a half of fresh grated baking apples (gala, golden delicious, cortland) to the filling. Done!

          - Joe

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