I guess I’ve put my foot in it. Somehow my threatening to bake a cream pie and toss it at someone has resulted in my attempting a tried, tested, and true British comfort food: Treacle Tart.
There are hundreds of recipes, but the consensus seems to point to Golden Syrup as this pie filling’s base. This is the “recommended” brand:
Lyle’s Golden syrup isn’t difficult to find. I purchased 4 bottles of this syrup at the Superstore on Richmond and Kirkwood. It was co-located with other syrups, including the corn and maple varieties.
Please note that the Walmart in Kanata does not carry Golden Syrup. Instead they sell a syrup purporting to be golden syrup, which, if you read the label carefully, is actually corn syrup.
Here is the link to the base recipe. It was originally developed by Heston Blumenthal, the world’s foremost practitioner of molecular gastronomy.
Here are the gory details:
The following is a partial recipe, according to my brief experience making this dessert.
Stuff you’ll need:
- 200 g of butter (obviously, this is a serious baking recipe…it demands us to weigh the fat)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (we can’t get double cream here in the americas)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 454 g cans of golden syrup (approximately 2.5 jars of the purchased treacle)
- 5 cups of fine whole wheat bread crumbs (actually, in hindsight, I think this recipe would have worked out better if we only used 3 cups)
- zest of 3 lemons
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice (approximately the juice of two medium sized lemons)
- 2 8-9 inch frozen pie shells
Note to the Lyle’s corporation: Those of us who live across the ocean would greatly appreciate your labelling your jars of treacle with either a mass or volume measure. Thanks!
- Pre-heat an oven to 350Â°F
- Take the frozen pie shells from the freezer and place them on a sheet pan. Cookie sheets are good too.
- Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with coins, dried beans, or baking weights. Essentially, we are blind baking the crust.
- Place pie shells into oven and bake until golden.
- Let cool and set aside.
- Pre-heat an oven to 325Â°F (if the oven is on from blind baking the pie crust, turn it down to 325Â°F)
- Take a heave bottomed sauce pan and add the butter to it. We will be browning the butter to develop its flavor.
- On medium heat, melt the butter and heat until it simmers.
- Simmer on medium heat until the butter gently browns and smells nutty.
- Remove from heat, strain, and measure 1/2 cup. You really don’t want any of those cooked milk solids that are floating around in the butter. They have done their job and released their flavor.
- In a bowl, add the eggs, cream, and salt and whisk until combined.
- Now, to make the golden syrup easier to handle, we are going to heat it in a hot water bath. For me, this involved placing the syrup into a medium sized metal bowl. Afterwards, I boiled water and half filled a larger metal bowl with the heated water. I then floated the medium sized metal bowl in the boiling water until the syrup liquefied further. Of course, this could be accomplished in a sink as well.
- Pour the browned butter into the syrup and stir to combine.
- Add the butter syrup to the bowl with the eggs, cream and salt. The reason, we didn’t actually heat the golden syrup directly is because we don’t want to collect enough heat to accidentally curdle the eggs during this step.
- Stir in the bread crumbs and lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into the blind-baked pie shells until each are 2/3 filled.
- Slide the filled pie shells into the oven and fill each shell to the top.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the tart is deep brown on top and the middle sets. That is, a finished pie should not wobble in the middle.
- Remove from the oven. Let cool and serve.