Monday, 10 September 2012

An anniversary treat


For the first time in 17 years I am spending my wedding anniversary 'sans' husband! Mr Vander-Cave is away on business so I am home alone and in need of a sweet treat. After watching The Great British Bake Off last week and salivating over Mary Berry's treacle tart I decided to dust down my own treacle tart recipe for my post dinner dessert. As I need to get back on the diet train asap I went for small individual treacle tarts making just two, one for me and one for Master Vander-Cave (who shares my love of these sweet treats).
To counteract the sweetness of the syruppy filling we ate our tarts with some of the few strawberries our bushes have given us this year and a generous helping of double cream

This recipe uses an old fashioned pie plate measuring 18cm for 2 individual sized tarts. I used 1/3 of the ingredients. I blind baked the tartlet shells for the same amount of time but cut the final cooking time to 25 minutes.

Treacle Tart
180g plain flour
45g butter
45g Trex
2 tsp cold water

for the filling:

225g fresh white bread
600g (8 heaped tbsp) golden syrup
juice of half a lemon

Put the flour and the cubed butter into a food processor and whizz till you have what looks like fine breadcrumbs (do it by hand if you prefer, rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingers and thumbs).

Pour in the water and mix again for a few seconds until the dough comes together.

Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured board, squeezing the dough to make a large ball. Roll it out to fit the tart tin, pressing it into the edges.

 Prick the pastry lightly all over with a fork then leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.Take the tart case from the fridge, cover with foil and baking beans to stop the pastry from puffing up, and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven for 5 minutes until the pastry feels dry. Remove and set aside.

Lower the oven heat to 180C/gas mark 4. Whiz the bread in the food processor till you have fine, soft, white crumbs.

 Mix them with the golden syrup, stirring until the crumbs are fully coated in syrup, then stir in the lemon juice.

Pour the crumbs into the warm pastry case, cover with lattice pastry strips if you are so inclined and brush the pastry lattice with milk.  Otherwise forget the lattice and just put the tart in the oven unadorned for 25-35 minutes. Leave the tart to cool for 10 minutes or so before cutting. Serve with cream.

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