Random Recipe #4: Treacle Tart

If Julia Roberts ever comes for dinner (a la that great scene in Notting Hill), I know just what to make.
Apparently, our Jules is dead keen on treacle tart. Tamasin Day-Lewis reckons that “when Julia Roberts comes to stay she drools over it, and busies herself making and twisting the pastry lattice for the top”.
This makes me want to slap Tamasin in the face with a wet dishcloth, but her book, The Art of the Tart, was my random selection for this month’s Random Recipe challenge. Shameless namedropping aside, TAOTT is a lovely book. I must confess to cheating a tiny bit on the actual recipe selection – the first one was for Fig Tart with Tobacco Syrup and I baulked at the thought of buying pipe tobacco, let alone eating it.

Treacle Tart
I didn’t have Julia Roberts on hand to make a lattice top for my tart so I went without. I think it would be a bit much anyway, though I did follow Tamasin’s advice and use wholemeal flour to contrast with the diabetes-inducing sweetness of the filling. Don’t be alarmed by the lengthy instructions – you can make the pastry the night before and the filling is really easy, even if you don’t have an Oscar winner to help.

120g wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
60g butter
2Tbsp cold water
1Tbsp cream

450g golden syrup (about half a tin)
30g butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
2-3Tbsp double cream
grated zest of two lemons
4 heaped Tbsp brown breadcrumbs

Put the flour, butter and salt into a food processor and blitz for 20 seconds, then dribble the water and cream through the top, one tablespoon at a time. Stop the processor when the mixture forms a ball, take it out, flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To roll it out, flour a cold worksurface, your rolling pin and your hands, and start rolling. “Roll away from yourself, turning the pastry as you go,” instructs Tamasin. When it’s big enough, roll it over the rolling pin and lie it gently in a greased 23cm tart tin (I used a 23cm springform cake tin as my tart tin has gone walkabout). Don’t stretch it. Put it back in the fridge for at least another 30 minutes to rest. Tamasin says you can do this the night before, bless her.
To bake, preheat the oven to 190C. Bake the pastry blind (line the case with baking paper, tip dried beans or rice on top) for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, prick with a fork and bake for another five minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 180C.
Warm the syrup gently, then, off the heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Beat together the cream and egg and add to the syrup, with the lemon zest and breadcrumbs. Stir to mix evenly, then pour into the pastry crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling has set to a sort of gel. Leave for 20-30 minutes before serving warm with clotted cream or Greek yoghurt. Serves 6-8.



  1. May 16, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    I don't even now where to start 'if Julia Robert ever comes for dinner'. The tart looks like a winner. And tobacco syrup? yikes.

  2. May 16, 2011 / 8:12 pm

    I've noticed TD-L's spectacular skill at namedropping before – in fact, I said as much to Julia Roberts the other day. Really nice tart, though. I hasten to add that I'm referring to the treacle tart and not Tamasin.

  3. May 16, 2011 / 9:27 pm

    Love treacle tart – reminds me of my childhood, especially served with custard. This version looks yum!

  4. May 17, 2011 / 12:35 am

    I love watching Tamasin on the telly, this tart makes my teeth ache but in a good way !!

  5. May 17, 2011 / 3:02 am

    Oh my gosh, this sound delish! I want some, NOW.
    Thank you for your very funny comment on my blog yesterday, it really cracked me up!

  6. May 17, 2011 / 6:03 am

    Oh how the other half live! I've always wanted to make one of these since reading a Nigella recipe for it, having a type-1 diabetic partner does tend to put a dampener on golden-syrup heavy activities as this though. Getting my vicarious thrills reading about it though.

  7. May 17, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    I can't help but wonder how Julia Roberts and Tamasin came to be such good friends that she would come to stay!! They don;t exactly seem peas in a pod do they. In any case Julia has excellent taste in tarts lol

  8. May 18, 2011 / 4:02 am

    Wow, I didn't even know tobacco syrup was a thing. This looks amazing though, tobacco or not!

  9. May 18, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    brilliant stuff Lucy… and you're the second person to randomly select TAOTT, so whilst we'd all love to punch out Tamasin's lights, she's clearly a popular girlie… anyway, the tart looks damn fine, and thanks so much for taking part x

  10. May 19, 2011 / 1:03 am

    I'll have to try this one too! Treacle tart is so so good. Name droppers = v annoying!

  11. May 22, 2011 / 2:11 pm

    I adore treacle tart and this looks amazing! Never read any of Tamasin's books or seen her on telly, I'll have to check her out.

  12. May 23, 2011 / 7:00 pm

    Treacle Tart so reminds me of my grandmother – sadly not around to make it any more. She didn't make it with any fancy lattice either and hers was perfect. Like the sound of fig tart, but not so much the tobacco bit.

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