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Treacle tart

Lindsey Bareham

Treacle tart is a sublime combination of buttery pastry and breadcrumbs soaked in golden syrup.

Treacle tart
Treacle tart

Cooking time

25-30 minutes




  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 100g/4oz cold butter, cut into pieces
  • Approx 3 tbsp cold water
  • 175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 7-8 tbsp golden syrup
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Vanilla ice cream to serve


My secret is a generous squeeze of lemon to counterbalance the sweetness. I love it with vanilla ice cream but you may prefer custard. 

Leftover tart should be warmed slightly in the oven before serving because it hardens as it cools. A successful cheat's version can be made with a 20cm/8in ready-made tart case.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6. Stand the tin of golden syrup in a pan of boiling water (to make it easier to pour).

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt. Add the butter and quickly rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles heavy breadcrumbs.

Add the water, a little at a time, and use a knife to stir it up into a clump. Knead a couple of times, pat the pastry into a ball, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Flour a work surface and roll the pastry until you can cut a circle to fit a 25.5cm/10in tart tin. 

Wrap the dough around the rolling pin and loosely drape it over the tin, lifting the edge of the dough with one hand and pressing it into the base and up the side of the dish with the other hand. Trim off the excess dough and use scraps to plug any tears or cracks.

Loosely cover with a large sheet of foil and fill with pastry beans (or rice). Cook in the middle of the oven for 10

minutes. Remove the foil (and the beans or rice), lower the temperature to 350F/180C/gas mark 4 and return the tart to a lower shelf and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Tip the breadcrumbs into the hot tart case – they should come almost right up to the edge of the pastry – and spoon or pour over the golden syrup, working from the outside in. 

Allow the syrup to sink down and saturate the bread. You don’t want any pools of syrup remaining but equally, you don’t want blond patches. Then squeeze over the lemon juice.

Cook in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the filling has set and is a light toffee colour. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Lindsey Bareham's website is:


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.