Treacle tart with thyme & or ange

Period Living - - Recipes -

My grand­fa­ther, Digby, spent part of the war sta­tioned down in Wey­mouth, an old har­bour town in Dorset. He helped to man a fort, which looked out over Port­land Har­bour, then home to an im­por­tant Royal Navy base. The fort was heav­ily ar­moured and had big guns. Should any threat ap­proach, Digby would be ready. Now… sto­ries can change with time, but I was told that when a fleet of Ger­man bombers flew over the fort, Digby and his men were in a lo­cal tea room, eat­ing treacle tart.

serves 8–10

725g golden syrup

1 egg

50ml dou­ble cream

50g un­salted but­ter Zest of 1 or­ange

2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped, plus an ex­tra thyme sprig, to dec­o­rate 200g white bread­crumbs For the pas­try

45g ic­ing sugar

170g plain flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing

85g but­ter, cubed and chilled, plus ex­tra for greas­ing

1 tbsp iced wa­ter 1 egg, plus an ex­tra beaten egg for egg wash­ing

1. First, make the pas­try. Com­bine the ic­ing sugar and plain flour in a medium bowl. Rub in the chilled but­ter cubes un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs (you can also do this in a food pro­ces­sor). Add in the iced wa­ter and the egg, and stir through to com­bine. Tip out the dough and bring it to­gether with your hands, knead­ing lightly to achieve a smooth fin­ish. Wrap the pas­try tightly in cling film and place it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 min­utes.

2. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°f/gas mark 6. On a lightly floured sur­face, roll out the pas­try un­til it is about 2mm thick. Grease and flour a 3cm-deep 22cm loose-bot­tomed tart tin, then lay over the pas­try, tuck­ing it into the cor­ners and leav­ing an over­hang. Line the pas­try case with bak­ing parch­ment and bak­ing beans. Blind bake the pas­try for 25 min­utes, then re­move the pa­per and beans, trim the over­hang and brush the pas­try with beaten egg. Re­turn to the oven for 10 min­utes, un­til the base is just colour­ing. Re­move and set aside, but leave the oven on.

3. To make the fill­ing, pour the golden syrup into a medium pan set over a low heat. Whisk the egg and cream to­gether in a bowl. When the syrup is hot, but not boil­ing, stir in the but­ter and al­low it to melt. Then, stir in the or­ange zest, chopped thyme, bread­crumbs, and the cream and egg mix­ture. Take the pan off the heat and let it stand for 5 min­utes, to al­low the bread­crumbs to take up the syrup.

4. Pour the fill­ing into the pas­try case and bake for 35–40 min­utes, un­til just set and golden brown around the edges. Leave to cool in the tin for

15–20 min­utes be­fore trans­fer­ring to a serv­ing plate, dec­o­rat­ing with a thyme sprig and bring­ing to the ta­ble. ➤

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