Thanksgiving may be over, but that doesn’t mean pie season is over as well. In fact, I’d venture to say that I end up making more pies between Thanksgiving and Christmas than on Thanksgiving day itself. I was looking through an old class cookbook that my mom had saved from my elementary school years, when I came across a recipe I contributed to the little class project for treacle tart. I have no idea where I’d seen a treacle tart before or what made me ask my mom for a recipe for one. Nonetheless, there it was, next to my all-time favorite recipe for my mom’s pumpkin cookies (of course). Since I don’t recall ever making the recipe my mom (er, I mean I) contributed, I decided that it’d be fun to give it a try. The resulting tart tasted similar in texture to my pecan pie without the pecans, only without the pretzels, either. It’s sugary and sweet, and somewhat unique to have on the dessert table next to all of the more traditional pies and tarts. I’ll hope you’ll give it a try, too!
For the short pastry crust:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
- 1 cup golden syrup (I used Lyel’s)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (2-3 slices bread, I used white whole wheat bread)
To make the short pastry, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture, chunks of butter, and vanilla extract to a food processor and pulse to combine (or use a pastry blender to work in the butter if you’d rather do it by hand).
Add additional flour if the dough is too wet, or ice water a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too dry. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour before using.
To make the breadcrumbs, remove the crusts from slices of bread if desired (I didn’t), and tear the slices into 1″ pieces. Place the pieces bread in a food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency, a mixture of coarse and fine crumbs. Place the crumbs on a lined baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 5-7 minutes or until dry and lightly browned.
When ready to make the tart, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare the filling. Warm the syrup and ginger in a sauce pan over low heat. Roll out the short pastry dough and press it into a 9″ tart pan, reserving the leftover dough.
Prick the bottom and sides of the shell with a fork and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. In a medium bowl, quickly stir together the breadcrumbs and syrup mixture, and then pour it evenly over the bottom of the warm shell.
Use the leftover dough to make strips to cover the pie with a lattice top.
Bake 25 minutes longer or until the crust on top is golden brown. Serve with custard or ice cream, if desired.