Who knew? Whenever I would hear or read about this tart I would get all shivery thinking it would be unbearably sweet! One day, not long after returning from a trip to London, England, throwing caution to the wind, I decided to try & make one. It’s lovely! Nice & lemony & not overly sweet! The lattice top looks so beautiful & shiny & bakery shop like!
9 oz. unbleached flour
4 ½ oz. cold butter, cut into cubes + extra for greasing pan
Approx. 3 Tbsp. ice water
14 oz. Lyle’s golden syrup
5 ½ oz. fine, freshly made white breadcrumbs + extra in case filling is too loose
2 lemons, zest & juice (1 – 2 Tbsp. rind & 4 – 6 Tbsp. juice)
Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. cold water
Make The Pastry:
Measure the flour into the bowl of a food processor; add the cold butter & process, using on/off turns until it resembles fine breadcrumbs; add the ice water while the machine is running, just until the dough begins to clump. Add a bit more ice water if necessary. Remove from the processor; form into a fall then flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for approximately 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Put a heavy baking tray in the oven to heat up. Grease a deep 7” fluted loose-bottomed fluted flan tin with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Remove about 6oz. of the pastry from the main ball & set aside for the lattice top. Roll the rest of the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured work surface & line the prepared flan tin with the pastry, pressing into the sides. . Prick the base & sides all over with a fork to stop the pastry rising up during baking. Place in the fridge. Place the reserved pastry for the lattice top on a piece of baking parchment & roll out thinly to approximately 8 ½”. Brush the pastry with egg wash & set aside to chill in the fridge (the parchment makes it easier to move the pastry around). Do not cut into strips at this time. Do not egg wash the strips once they are on the tart as it will drip into the treacle filling.
Make The Filling:
Heat the syrup gently in a large pan but do not boil. Once melted, add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice & lemon zest to the syrup. You can add less lemon if you would prefer a less citrus taste but I think the lemon sets off the filling beautifully & takes away an overly sweet taste. If the mixture looks too runny, add a few more breadcrumbs. It will not be a stiff mixture. Cool the mixture before pouring into the pastry lined tin & level the surface if necessary.
Place a baking tray in the hot oven.
Remove the reserved pastry from the fridge & cut into ½” long strips. Make sure they are all longer than the edges of the tart tin. Now brush egg wash on the edges only of the pastry shell & begin to make the woven lattice by laying a few strips one way on top of the tart, leaving the strips hanging over the edge of the tin. Folding back every other strip to the middle of the tart, begin laying down strips of pastry, under & over to create the lattice pattern. Once the lattice is in place, use the tin edge to cut off the excess strips by pressing down with your hands, creating a neat finish. Lattice does take a bit of time but the result looks wonderful. My Mom never made a rhubarb pie without a lattice top!
Place your treacle tart onto the pre-heated baking tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the pastry has started to colour; reduce the heat to 350 F. If at this stage the lattice seems to be getting too dark brown, lay a piece of tin foil over the tart. Bake for a further 25 – 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown & the filling is set. Remove the tart from the oven & leave on a baking rack to firm up. Serve warm or cold. I really like this served room temperature with clotted cream or a mixture of sour cream & whipped cream beaten together until it holds it shape but is not stiff.