Monday, November 15, 2010

Harry’s Favorite Treat: Teeny, Tiny Treacle Tarts

by Darla

Obviously, I am a big Harry Potter fan. The complete magic and wondrous world that J.K. Rowling created captured me from the first time I picked the books up. The first book was published in 1997, when I was 17. At the time, I hadn’t even heard of the books, let alone read one. I didn’t pick up the Harry Potter books until 2002, shortly after I got married.

During the first year of our marriage, my husband was deployed several times. Of the 12 months of that first year, he was gone about nine of them. This was shortly after the first film was released, so HP was really entering mainstream at this point, and it finally caught my attention. I’ve always been a huge reader, so I snatched the first two books up at Target and ended up reading them voraciously!

Since then, I’ve read the books dozens of times, waited around at midnight release parties, arrived at movie theaters insanely early to guarantee good seats, attended Harry potter festivals, and had the good fortune to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (where I have decided that we will be retiring)! If it involves the Harry Potter series, I’m there, I’ll buy, I love it! My next endeavor is to make it to LeakyCon! Hopefully 2012 is my year!

This week marks the beginning of the very end. This Friday, November 19, Part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released (Part 2 comes out in June 2011). When the book was released, I tried so hard to read it as slow as possible so it would last just a little bit longer. That same feeling is why I’m actually quite glad that the film is being released in two parts. Some people are annoyed by it, but I’m glad that the experience will last just a little longer. Love it or hate it, you have no choice but to acknowledge that Harry Potter changed the world!

In celebration of the film’s release this week, I’ll be sharing some delicious Harry Potter treats with you. I had the best time writing these posts! It was a little bit like stepping into the magical world of Rowling’s! No feature of Potter treats would be complete without Harry’s favorite food: treacle tarts!!

Admittedly, I had no clue what treacle was, let alone treacle tarts, so I had a small bit of research to do. It turns out treacle is a sweet syrup that is derived during the processing of cane sugar. I searched high and low for it, but as has become the norm for me, it was unavailable for me. I think it wouldn’t be completely unreasonable to think that it might be available in some places in the States, but if you can’t find it, never fear! I have a substitution.

The majority of treacle tart recipes that I read during my research seem to prefer golden syrup, which is also known as light treacle. I decided that was what I would go for. I learned that a good substitute for golden syrup is two parts light corn syrup, one part molasses. It worked perfectly, and I have to say, this dessert was so much easier than I expected, and incredibly tasty! No wonder it’s Harry’s favorite food!

The crust for these tarts is a shortcrust. I like to think of it as a cross between shortbread and tart crust. Basically, that just means it’s sweeter. For my crust, you’ll need all-purpose flour, salt, ice water, confectioners’ sugar, and cold, unsalted butter. Cut the butter into tablespoons and place in the freezer until ready to use.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt with two or three pulses.

Evenly distribute the cold butter over the flour mixture and and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.

Sprinkle one to two tablespoons of the cold water over the flour mixture, and process with four to five pulses. After processing, the mixture should look sandy. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Sprinkle another tablespoon of the water over the mixture and use a rubber spatula to press the dough together. When the dough looks shaggy and a bit dry, but holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three or four times until the dough comes together completely. Handle the dough as little as possible to prevent melting the butter.

Continuing to handle the dough lightly, shape it into a disk six to seven inches across. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes, or the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Once chilled, Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. If making many small tartlets, work with half of the dough at a time.

Roll the dough to about one-eighth of an inch thick.

Line the tartlet pans with the dough by lifting a corner of the dough gently and placing the pan under it. Gently press the dough into the pan, then use your fingers to press the dough into the edges of the pan, cutting it. If needed, press the dough more firmly into the pan. To line a standard tart pan for a full sized tart, use the directions found here.

Place the tarlets on a baking sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably in the freezer. Once chilled, line the pans with bits of foil or parchment and fill each one with a small amount of pie weights or dry beans. Bake mini tartlets at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Bake a full size tart at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

While the crust cools, start the filling mixture. You just need ground ginger, heavy cream, eggs, golden syrup (or molasses and light corn syrup), and the juice and finely grated zest of a small lemon. Oh yeah, and fresh bread crumbs. I seriously always leave one thing out…so strange.

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and pour into the cooled tart crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (for tartlets), or about 30 minutes (for a standard tart), or until the filling has set.

I’m so happy I decided to make these, because they are wonderful (bonus points and my eternal respect if you know whose wand that is back there). They’re sweet and ever-so-slightly tart, and with the cream on top, they’re a lightly decadent dessert. I’m constantly surprised at how often these chocolate-less treats make me so very happy! Plus, being as obsessed with Harry Potter (and England too) as I am, I loved exploring a traditional English treat.

These were fast and easy! An awesome way to celebrate the release of Deathly Hallows! Make them! And enjoy!

Treacle Tart
Makes one 9 inch tart, or 2 dozen tartlets

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice water

FOR THE FILLING
18 oz. golden syrup (or 12 oz. light corn syrup combined with 6 oz. molasses)
2 eggs
finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt with 2 or 3 pulses. Evenly distribute the cold butter over the flour mixture and and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cold water over the flour mixture, and process with 4 to 5 pulses. After processing, the mixture should look sandy. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon of the water over the mixture and use a rubber spatula to press the dough together. When the dough looks shaggy and a bit dry, but holds together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times until the dough comes together completely. Add more water, up to 1 tablespoon, as needed. Handle the dough as little as possible to prevent melting the butter.

Continuing to handle the dough lightly, shape it into a disk six to seven inches across. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes, or the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Once chilled, Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. If making many small tartlets, work with half of the dough at a time. Roll the dough to about one-eighth of an inch thick. Line tart pans as directed above.

Place the tarlets on a baking sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once chilled, line the tarts with bits of foil or parchment and fill each one with a small amount of pie weights or dry beans. Bake mini tartlets for 15 minutes. Bake a full size tart for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

For the filling: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and pour into the cooled tart crust.

Bake for 20 minutes (for tartlets), or about 30 minutes (for a standard tart), or until the filling has set.

Allow to cool completely before serving. Serve with clotted cream, vanilla ice cream, or fresh whipped cream.

Recipe by Darla

Other great Harry Potter recipes from Bakingdom:

Homemade Butterbeer

Double Double Chocolate Cauldron Cakes

Honeydukes Candyfloss Cupcakes

Harry Potter Sugar Cookies

 

Hogwarts House Pride Spice Cake

Read about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter here:

Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

 

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori November 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

Oh…those look yummy! I just added "golden syrup" to this week's grocery list. I spent most of my life around the British…I have a fondness for tea, crumpets and Marmite…

And the wand? Professor McGonagall's. Very elegant wand indeed.

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2 Sugarbear November 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm

@Dori – Eternal respect and 10,000 bonus points granted! ;)

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3 Mary Anne November 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Darn, Dori, you beat me by a few minutes!

My daughter's BFF's birthday is this weekend, so they're taking some kids to the movie at the IMAX theater. I "volunteered" to go along to help out the mom. (Honestly, I couldn't stand the thought of my daughter seeing it before me!!)

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4 Scarletta November 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Gorgeous! These look SO yummy and I love how you made them in a variety of shapes!

I have never read any of the Harry Potter books but your post has made me want to pick one up. Or play a game of quidditch.

Thanks for the delicious post!

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5 MM Cake Design November 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I like it!

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6 Melissa November 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Yummy. Can't wait to see what else you come up with.

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7 Mrs. Mordecai November 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

That looks great! For the syrups, are you going by fluid ounces or ounces in weight? I can't wait to try this. :)

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8 Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) November 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I also didn't get into HP until after I was married. We shared the books, but my husband always got to read it first. When the last one came out, we just ended up buying two books because I didn't want to wait for him! :)

These looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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9 Chocolate Shavings November 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm

These make me that much more excited for the movie to come out!

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10 Sugarbear November 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Thanks everyone!

@Mary Anne – I so would have "volunteered" to go too!! I know I'm the biggest fan in the family, so I should definitely get to see it first!! :)

@Mrs. Mordecai – The syrups are by weight. Thanks for asking!! :) I hope you enjoy them!

@Nikki – I'm glad I've never had to do that…I never would have been able to wait to read these!

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11 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets November 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I've yet to try golden syrup but you make it very very appealing. These are too cute!

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12 Erin Kelly November 16, 2010 at 12:48 am

Wow – those look fantastic. I may have to take a small break from cupcake baking to give these a try. Thanks for posting!

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13 Stephanie November 16, 2010 at 1:50 am

wow those look amazing!

I love cooking up recipes that I read about in stories

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14 Jaime Ormsby November 16, 2010 at 5:18 am

I love the harry potter books and was hooked on them right from the start (I was 9 years old) and after 4 years of persuading my fiancé to read them, he is finally hooked too!!!
not sure if you already know about this website but it is one that I spend hours on!!!
http://www.hp-lexicon.org/

I love your blog as well….I wish I had the time and money to make all the wonderful things on it…

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15 Indigo November 16, 2010 at 7:18 am

Geekiest admission ever: I like to make a treacle tart on the first day of September ('back to Hogwarts' day)! I'm one of the lucky ones who grew up with it – I read 'Philosopher's Stone' when I was seven in 1997. and I was seventeen, like Harry, when the books ended. We had an amazing release party for the last book – treacle tarts, cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, fever fudge, ice mice, you name it! Can't wait to see your take on it all this week!

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16 Sugarbear November 16, 2010 at 7:45 am

@Jaime – Thank you…I'm really having fun having my own blog! :)

I've also been trying to persuade the hubster to read them…with only mediocre success. He's read Years 1-3. I had hoped he'd finish them all by the time Deathly Hallows was released, but no such luck. Although, he has skipped ahead and is listening to the DH audiobook this week…fingers crossed that he finishes it! Also, i have hear of HP Lexicon…although, I have to admit, I prefer The Leaky Cauldron (http://the-leaky-cauldron.org/). It's been my homepage for several years now.

@Indigo – I *love* that you make treacle tart every year for Back to Hogwarts!! I always do little HP celebrations throughout the year, too, like for Harry's birthday, or a Hogwarts themed Halloween! My geeky admission? I have hand sewn cloaks for my husband and I that I made a few years ago to wear to an event (called Mugglefest) in the town we were living in! Of course, that's really just the tip of the iceberg! :) My favorite fun fact about Harry is that, according to Jo's timeline, he was born in 1980…which is when I was born, so I just think that's freaking awesome! XD

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17 Keri November 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I, too, love all things Harry Potter. My daughters and I have had our tickets for the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part 1 for three weeks now. We plan to arrive at the theater no later than 8:00 a.m. to secure our place in line. I'll be making a batch of these treacle tarts and some other HP themed treats for us to snack on while we wait. Thank you for a simple recipe that uses ingredients I always have on hand!!

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18 Amy November 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

If you have access to a commissary, you might be able to find treacle! Ours had it, strangely enough!

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19 Nuala Redbird August 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

Where did you get the tartlet pans? I noticed you used them for the mini Key Lime pies, too and I really love them. They make all your stuff look 20% cooler. 2

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20 Darla August 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

Hi Nuala, I got them at a little hardware store on the island where I live, but they are from Norpro. That link will take you to them on amazon. Those are the exact ones that I got. I hope this is helpful. :)

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21 Caladrya September 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm

That one I´ll definitely try! Thanks for the recipe!
Now I just have to find out what the fuck treacle is…in german. Dictionary doesn´t exactly give me what I want…because it doesn´t seem to know any differences between various types of sugary syrups…ah well, i will find something. What about a syrup out of sugar beets? That´s about he most common syrup around here.
It´s good the recipe´s mostly measured with cups…spares me a little time of recalculating.

Thanks so much <3 So far I´ve read three or so recipes and you´re just awesome!

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22 Darla September 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

You can try light corn syrup combined with molasses. That’s how I made them and they were delicious! :)

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23 tina September 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

late to the party here again, but I knew McGongall’s wand as soon as I saw it!

Did you get it from Nobel Collection? I WANT so many of those. So far we only have Harry’s & Dumbledore’s though.

I was about to ask about the little tart spoons, but I see it is answered right above here.

Thanks :D

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24 tina September 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Oh.. oops…

what I was asking about wasn’t what was linked. I wondered where you got the little white spoons/dishes that the tarts are sitting in.

I see things like that on Top Chef all the time, but never see them in the stores.

Help?

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25 Darla September 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Hi Tina, I used these from Bake It Pretty for the forks. Obviously, I used silver, but they only have the ivory right now. As for the little dishes, I got those at a tiny little local hardware store where I live. I believe they’re made my a company called Una, though. I also use a lot of Tag dishes in photos. They’re all restaurant quality, so you could try a restaurant supply store. I hope this is helpful! :)

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26 Val November 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Really late to comment here, but just wanted to let your readers know that I’ve had good luck finding Lyle’s Golden Syrup at World Market. I’ve also been able to get it at Publix before and when they haven’t had it, they’ve ordered it for me. So, so good! I never knew that you could substitute with corn syrup and molasses! That would have saved me a lot of travelling!

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27 Katie June 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Is that 300 degrees c or Fahrenheit sorry I’m only 12 but love baking and reading and Harry potter are my favest ever books!!!!! I crie at everything though :/

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28 Darla June 8, 2012 at 7:26 am

Hi Katie, it’s 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If you visit my conversions page in the right sidebar, you can find out what that is in C. :)

Keep baking and reading and doing what you love!!

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29 Katie June 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Oh thank you! I was rather confused as I thought: what?!?!! What kind of ovens do these people have! Mine only goes up to 220 c! Haha just reread the deathly hallows and cried myself to sleep :) p.s. I made butterbeer for my friends and they loved it!

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30 Robin January 9, 2014 at 2:09 am

for making the pastry crust, can you either melt or soften the butter? I don’t have a food processor. just wondering as it seems easier to make that way.

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31 Darla January 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

No, use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. The butter chunks are important and add flakiness. Melted butter would not work very well.

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