28 September 2008

Treacle Tart with a Canadian twist

Golden syrup isn't an ingredient that is used much over here, although you can get small jars of it in some of the bigger supermarkets. The Good Housekeeping recipe I was following today called for a whopping 1½ pounds of the stuff, which was beyond my storecupboard's capacity. Well, actually when I say storecupboard I really mean 'boxes on the dining room floor', as the kitchen is still a work in progress.*

So without the requisite quantity of golden syrup a bit of improvisation was required. The tart has a plain shortcrust pastry case (in a 10-inch/25cm flan dish) and I made the filling with:
  • breadcrumbs (made from four generously-cut slices of half-wholemeal bread)

  • my 250ml jar of golden syrup (which I didn't weigh, but guess to be around 10 ounces of syrup?)

  • grated rind of two lemons

  • two eggs

  • enough maple syrup to make a thick, gloopy, mixture (about 100ml)

I didn't bake the pastry case before cooking it, although you could. Just prick the base all over with a fork and pour in the filling. I had plenty of pastry left over, so made an agrestic lattice pattern over the top of the tart, which was then baked at 350°F/180°C for 50 minutes and allowed to cool off slightly before serving.

This quantity would give eight people a decent-sized slice each. You need something cold to serve with it - double cream or crème fraîche (or a mixture) would be great. We used up a tub of decent vanilla ice-cream.

*So I'm not cooking in anyone's kitchen at the moment, which is even harder than cooking in someone else's.


themanicgardener said...

Okay, I'll bite: what IS golden syrup?

For that matter, what is treacle? I've been wondering my whole life--or at least ever since I first encountered "treacle pudding" in some children's book--Winnie the Pooh?

And by the way--have you tried organic cream? Once I'd tasted cream in England, everything here tasted like it came out of a tin. Until I tried organic whipping cream. Wow. It whips in half the time, and it's--it's--it's--I don't want to go overboard here, but it's almost like Devonshire cream. I don't buy anything else now.

Amanda said...

Hi Kate

Golden syrup is a by-product of the sugar-cane refining process. According to Wikipedia it was invented in 1883. It's sticky, very sweet and a key ingredient in many British dishes (flapjack, treacle tart, treacle sponge pudding). Treacle is usually darker and a bit more bitter than golden syrup, but it's also a by-product of sugar refining.

Treacle pudding is a steamed sponge pudding (eggs/flour/butter) which has a couple of spoonfuls of golden syrup in the base of the pudding basin, so when you invert the finished pudding onto a serving dish, you end up with syrupy juices soaking into the sponge. Very yummy. The queen of British puddings, Delia Smith, has a great recipe for it, which uses both golden syrup and black treacle. I think you could probably use corn syrup and molasses to get much the same result.

I haven't seen organic cream here - but I'd buy it in a trice if I did!