From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Many of my Christmas memories are associated with friends and the holiday foods they favored and shared with me. At this time of year, I make as many of those dishes as I can, and while I have never grown to like it, I continue to make Lily's treacle tart because it comes served with warm and lovely memories. For those who have never tried the tart, it's a traditional English pie, much loved by Harry Potter and the gang at Hogwarts, that's baked with a thick filling of bread crumbs, lemon juice and golden syrup. Golden syrup, which is also called light treacle, is the color of honey and tastes like sugar that's cooked to a medium caramel stage. While it pours like corn syrup, any similarity between the two syrups stops there. Corn syrup, while sweet, has almost no flavor, so the two can't be used interchangeably. I think treacle tart is an acquired taste for those born outside the United Kingdom. The filling is intensely sweet and while it is a favorite dessert across the pond, it does take some getting use to. Lily loved it and insisted it helped balance her tart tongue. I loved Lil and make this every Christmas in her memory. Who knows, one of these days I may even grow to like it. Here's how the tart is made.
Treacle Tart...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Saveur magazine
1-1/2 cups flour
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided use
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
1 cup Lyle's golden syrup or molasses
6 tablespoons bread crumbs
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
Whipped cream, for serving
1. To make pastry shell: Place flour, 6 tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Rub flour and butter together until pea-size crumbles form. Add 1/4 cup ice-cold water and stir until dough forms. Transfer to a work surface and form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2) To make filling: Meanwhile, heat syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until loose. Remove from heat and stir in reserved 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, bread crumbs, cream, egg, and zest. Set filling aside.
3) Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into an 11″ circle and transfer to a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough and chill shell for 30 minutes. Prick bottom with a fork and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Fill with dried beans and bake until crust is set, about 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake until light brown, about 10 minutes. Pour filling into tart shell and bake until filling is just set, about 30 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Peppermint Bark
Two Years Ago Today: Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup
Three Years Ago Today: Meatball Sub with Homemade Sicilian Sausage