Treacle tart is a simple dessert made from pastry, light treacle, breadcrumbs, and lemon juice and zest. Despite, or perhaps because of its simple nature, it has become a stalwart of British cookery with the oldest recipe on hand coming from a cookbook authored by Mary Jewry in the late 19th Century. It is so much a part of the culture that it is cockney rhyming slang for sweetheart, and was known to be Harry Potter’s favorite food. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, follow this recipe and pairing.

Try treacle tart with Verdelho Madeira or find your perfect wine pairing with VinoVoss 

(Photo by Geraud Pfeiffer on Pexels)


For The Pastry

  • 9 oz (250g) Plain flour
  • 4.5 oz (130g) Butter (Cut into cubes)
  • 1 Cup of chilled water
  • Extra butter for greasing

For The Filling

  • 14 oz Golden Syrup
  • 5.5 oz (150g) Fine ground, very fresh, breadcrumbs
  • 2 Lemons (Zest and juice)
  • 1 Egg (Beaten to use as an egg wash)

This recipe is made with light treacle, known as golden syrup in Britain. (Photo by Pixabay)


Step 1: Prepare the Pastry

  • Measure the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the cubed butter and rub it into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor.
  • Gradually add about three tablespoons of cold water and mix until a firm dough forms.
  • Wrap the dough in cling film and chill it in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat and Prep

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C).
  • Place a heavy baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  • Grease the flan tin with butter.

Step 3: Roll and Line the Tin

  • Take about 5 oz (150g) of pastry from the main ball and set it aside for the lattice top.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface.
  • Carefully line the prepared flan tin with the rolled-out pastry.
  • Prick the pastry base with a fork to prevent it from rising during baking.

Step 4: Prepare the Lattice Top

  • Roll out the reserved pastry into a thin sheet on cling film.
  • Lightly brush the pastry with beaten egg and chill it in the fridge (using cling film for easy handling).
  • Do not cut the pastry into strips yet. Save this for later.

Step 5: Create the Filling

  • Gently heat the golden syrup in a large pan, avoiding boiling it.
  • Once melted, add the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and zest to the syrup.
  • It is important that the breadcrumbs be fine or they will form lumps.
  • Adjust the amount of lemon according to your taste preference.
  • If the mixture appears too runny, add a few more breadcrumbs.
  • Pour the syrup mixture into the lined tart tin, smoothing the surface.

Step 6: Build the Lattice

  • Retrieve the chilled egg-washed pastry from the fridge.
  • Using the pastry in the tin as a guide, cut long strips, each about 1cm (½in) wide, from the chilled pastry.
  • Lightly egg wash the edge of the pastry in the tin.
  • Start weaving the lattice pattern over the syrup mixture, allowing the strips to hang over the edge of the tin.

Step 7: Bake to Perfection

  • Place the tart on the preheated baking tray in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, until the pastry begins to color.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F (180° C).
  • If the lattice starts to brown too quickly, cover the tart with tin foil.
  • Bake for an additional 25–30 minutes until the pastry turns a beautiful golden-brown and the filling sets.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

  • Carefully remove the tart from the oven and let it firm up in the tin.
  • Once cool, serve your treacle tart either warm or cold.

Food And Wine Pairing

Enjoy the Treacle Tart with a Verdelho Madeira. The high acidity and sweetness offer a unique gastronomic experience on the palate. Explore VinoVoss to find the perfect match.

(Photo by Faith Güney on Pexels)

Serve with a 10 or 15 Year Old Verdelho Madeira or search VinoVoss for the best choice close to you.

Matthew Cocks

Credit to Mary Jewry

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