This fantastic British tart is made with a buttery shortbread crust and a thick, sweet golden syrup filling. Golden syrup is another name for light treacle. We are also adding lemon zest and breadcrumbs to the filling. Some recipes for treacle tart use ground almonds rather than fresh breadcrumbs. This tart is delicious hot or chilled. It goes well with clotted cream or, if you cannot get it where you are, whipped cream instead. Vanilla ice cream would be good instead. This is quite a simple recipe. The crust is prepared first because it needs chilling time. The crust is baked blind, the filling is added, and then the tart is baked again.
Treacle tart is popular with kids and with the the grownups too. Have you read the Harry Potter books? Treacle tart is actually Harry’s favourite tart and it is popular at all of the Hogwarts parties and feasts. The child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tries to lure the children out of the basement by offering this dessert too. A slice of this makes an excellent dessert, or you could enjoy it as a sweet snack with a beverage of choice.
Treacle tart dates back to 1883, when golden syrup (the main ingredient) was invented. Treacle stayed the generic name for syrupy by-products of the sugar refining process, although it used to only come in the thick, dark brown variety. Medieval gingerbread recipes called for sugar and breadcrumbs to make similar desserts, although honey would have been used as the sweetener back then in place of syrup or treacle. Continue reading
This traditional English pudding originates from Sussex, a county in the South East of England. It comprises a suet pastry encasing butter, sugar and lemons. This pudding can be steamed or boiled for a few hours, and it dates back to 1672. Although it is high in sugar and fat and has therefore been replaced with ‘healthier’ desserts by the health-conscious, if you really want to treat yourself to an authentic English dessert which dates back about 350 years, go ahead and prepare this Sussex pond pudding, and take a delicious bite of history. This recipes serves 6, or you could stretch it to 8 smaller portions.
There is a version of Sussex pond pudding known as currant pond pudding, and that is popular in both Sussex and Kent. In fact, we have made currants an optional ingredient in the following recipe. Bear in mind using these will make it a currant pond pudding instead. Choose thin-skinned, juicy lemons (preferably unwaxed) for this dessert, and beef suet if you can get it. If not, vegetable shortening or cold butter can be used in its place.
The reason for the name of this dessert comes from the fact that when you cut into the finished pudding, the thick sauce oozes out and pools around the plate, resembling a pond. The lemon skin will be soft and caramelized because of the long cooking time. This is the type of dessert to try after serving a British savoury pie for the main course, and it is especially satisfying during the cooler months. Continue reading
Perhaps you are familiar with BBC2’s cookery programme ‘Great British Menu’ which pits up-and-coming British chefs against one another to see who can prepare the most delicious food. Each episode focuses on a slightly different element of cooking to see which chef is the best all-rounder, capable of making delicious starters, satisfying main dishes and perfect puddings as well.
Because the UK has so many fantastic recipes and a wealth of food and cooking history, many of the chefs on the programme opt to recreate British classics, perhaps altering them slightly to add their own unique touch. This is easy to do yourself. Take sherry trifle, for example. It is hard to improve on a classic recipe like that but if you want to make sherry trifle your own, try swapping the sherry for brandy, using a different flavour of jelly, or adding something else to the mix.
The best chefs in Britain today are not those who make authentic recipes only, but those who have mastered the art of preparing traditional British recipes and are also able to put their own twist on those dishes and come up with their own signature recipes as well. This episode is the final in the series so you will see the most impressive British dessert recipes of all. The chefs like to save their very best for last. Continue reading
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