Treacle tart with clotted cream

Rich with syrup and butter, Paul Merrett's says this classic British pudding is best served when warm, with a generous spoonful of clotted cream
By Paul Merrett
Treacle tart with clotted cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling and 15 minutes standing
  • Effort: easy


  • melted butter, for brushing
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 pack good quality all-butter dessert or shortcrust pastry
  • 150 g stale brown or white bread, crusts removed, bread torn in rough pieces
  • 650 g golden syrup
  • 150 g butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • clotted cream, to serve


1. To bake the tart case you will need a baking tray lined with non stick greaseproof paper and a
flan ring or tin about 23cm inch diameter and 2.5cm tall. Paint the inside of your flan ring or tin with a little melted butter and dust the painted bit with flour.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until its about 4mm thick. By this stage it
should be covering a greater surface area than the flan ring or tin. Roll the pastry up on the rolling
pin, then carefully unroll it over the flan ring. Carefully push the pastry down inside the ring
making sure the sides of the ring are covered in pastry too. There may be a slight overhang of
pastry which can be removed with a sharp knife after baking. Rest the lined flan ring or tin for 30 minutes in the fridge.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Remove the flan ring from the fridge and prick the pastry base with a fork this will prevent the pastry case puffing up. Scrunch up some more greaseproof paper, then smooth it out flat. Use this to line the base and sides of the flan ring or tin. Fill the centre up with baking beans. Bake for 25 minutes. If not completely cooked, return it to the oven for another 5 minutes or so.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Put the bread in a food processor and blend until it becomes breadcrumbs. Set aside. Pour the golden syrup into a saucepan and put in the butter. Heat them together until the syrup is a runny liquid and the butter has melted. Meanwhile whisk the egg and cream together until well combined, then pour in the syrup and butter mixture. Stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and a good pinch of salt. Mix everything together and pour into your cooked pastry case, still in its flan ring or tin and sitting on the baking tray lined with paper.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes at which point it should be a rich golden brown. Give it a few more minutes if very soft or under-coloured. Allow it to stand for 15 minutes. In Pauls view, treacle tart should be served just warm, never hot and always with obscene amounts of clotted cream.

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