Individual Almond Treacle Tarts

25 Comments
treacle tart

Flaky pastry, sweet, smooth filling & cool, creamy ice cream

For the last few days we’ve been eating our way around a small portion of the North of England. Our helping sizes, on the hand, have been rather large.

It all kicked off with a family wedding in Yorkshire on Thursday. In the unexpected (but wonderful) warm weather we feasted on three courses of stomach filling stuff – think greedy servings of soufflé, rare roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and thick lemon tart – before retiring for an afternoon of champagne and sunshine followed by an evening of even more food (in the form of dainty canapés, think crispy bacon scallops, miniature meringues and everything in between.

treacle tart

Bake these tarts in miniature cases for individual desserts

The following day thirteen of us drove down to a beautiful old house in the Derby Dales. The long weekend then unfolded in a happy blur of cooked breakfasts, hearty pub grub, takeaway to feed the five thousand and enough leftover wedding cake to feed them again. To say we’ve eaten well would be an understatement. To say we’ve eaten too much would be a fact.

On arriving back in London on Sunday afternoon, despite the weekend’s overindulgence, I was excited to get back in the kitchen. Days without cooking are a luxury, but there’s always a part of me itching to return to routine, to prepare food just the way we like it, to play around with ingredients or try a new recipe.

treacle tart

Smooth, syrupy sweetness with every bite

Despite having stayed just down the road from Bakewell, I never got the chance to try a local tart. With this in mind, I made a batch of sweet shortcrust pastry, popped it in the fridge to chill and ground a packet almonds in preparation to make my own version. And then I remembered a recipe I’d earmarked in Bruce Poole’s cookbook that involves both pastry and ground almonds and which I’ve been wanting to make ever since I bought the book. The poor Bakewell tart never really stood a chance.

I’ve posted a recipe for treacle tart before, and even made it into ice cream, but what sets this version apart is the inclusion of ground almonds – there isn’t a breadcrumb in sight. The mixture is sticky with golden syrup and indulgently loosened with a fairly large amount double cream – an extravagant addition which is no doubt the direct result of Bruce’s restaurant roots. I’ve added a little lemon juice to cut through the richness, but the zest of an orange or a restrained sprinkling of rosemary or thyme would also work really well.

treacle tart

Copious amounts of butter make this pastry beautifully flaky

The result is a treacle tart to fall in love with. The recipe is fairly involved (I’ve cut out some of the resting stages below otherwise it could take you the best part of a day to make it!) but it’s absolutely worth it. The pastry is beautifully melt-in-the-mouth flaky thanks to copious amounts of butter and allowed to shine against a filling that is smooth and light with little of the chewy density I normally associate with treacle tart. The addition of a few flaked almonds on top adds a lovely crunch and when served warm with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream, I can honestly think of few better flavour, taste and texture sensations.

It’s not a Bakewell tart but it is utterly delicious. And you can’t say much fairer than that.

treacle tart

Best served warm with a cold scoop of ice cream

Individual Almond Treacle Tarts
(makes 8 – 10 little round tarts)

For best results, you need to allow a fair amount of time for your pastry to chill – do read through all the instructions before you start to make sure your timings are right!

Ingredients:

For the pastry
250g plain white flour
200g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, chilled & cubed
2 medium egg yolks, beaten

For the filling
340g golden syrup
100g ground almonds
90ml double cream
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 large free range egg yolk, beaten

Method:

For the pastry
Put the flour and sugar into a food processor and blitz.

Add the cold butter and blitz again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks again and blitz until just combined.

Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Roll into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in cling film before chilling for 2 – 3 hours.

When the pastry is chilled, remove from the fridge and lightly flour a work surface. Cut into 8 – 10 equal sized pieces, depending on the size of your tart cases.

With each individual piece, bash the dough out flat with your rolling pin then bring the broken edges in to form a ball. With regular, generous dustings of flour, roll out each disc of pastry to about 3mm thick.

Lift the pastry gently, wrapping round your rolling pin if easier, and place it over the tart case. Working fast, lift up the edges of the pastry to allow it to relax into the base of each case and press in lightly. Leave any excess pastry round the edges to allow for shrinkage.

Line each case with a double layer of cling film, fill with baking beads and return to the fridge to cool for at least one hour.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Remove your pastry cases from the fridge and bake on a baking tray for 10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the baking beans and cling film, then bake for a further 18 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once cooled, trim the edges of the pastry so you have a neat edge.

For the filling
Stir together the golden syrup and ground almonds. Gently stir in the cream and lemon juice using a whisk, but stirring rather than whisking so as not to create volume. Stir in the beaten egg yolk.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.

Pour the filling into your prepared tart cases and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the ring and serving with a large scoop of ice cream or dollop of clotted cream.

25 RESPONSES TO Individual Almond Treacle Tarts

  1. My Kitchen Stories -

    These look so delicious and great idea making them with almond meal. I have a version of your Pistachio cake to post soon ….will keep you posted ,
    http://www.mykitchenstories.com.au

  2. Sounds like a lovely few days you had! You made me hungry with all this talk of crispy bacon scallops! These little tarts look delicious!

  3. these look gorgeous as always. Now I need a recipe for Opera cake as my husband loves it and it is his birthday shortly. Off to see if you have it on here . If not any suggestions of a good recipe source ? x

  4. Mmm these tarts look so good! I love your addition of ground almonds and your description is making my mouth water. Yum!

  5. Kavey -

    Oh how lovely lovely lovely. PS please can you send me one? :-P

  6. Sukaina -

    After eating all that food, the last thing I would do is go back into the kitchen to cook! But that tart does look buttery flaky perfection.

  7. Erin -

    These are so precious. I just love individual sized desserts. Also, they of course look delicious. :)

  8. Amy -

    Oh these look beautiful. I have to admit, I was always a little scared by the involvement of breadcrumbs in the usual treacle tart recipes. That was probably enough to make me set them aside as a British treat, not to be recreated by me! But I really really love the look of these. And I also love their size!

  9. I’ve never had a treacle tart (being American and all), but these look so amazing that I’m definitely regretting that! I guess I’ll just have to make some myself, then. :)

  10. This looks amazing! My dad is English, so treacle tarts have made several appearances in my life and it is one of my favorite desserts. We actually named our old yellow lab Treacle :)

  11. Emma -

    Workinglondonmummy – I have a good opera cake recipe somewhere. I’ll have a hunt and then copy it into a comment here.
    Littleloaf – these look yummy! Is Bruce Poole’s book worth purchasing? I love his restaurants and he was so nice when I spent a day in his kitchen at Chez Bruce. I probably should buy it!

  12. londonbakes -

    Ground almonds sound like such a great alternative to breadcrumbs; treacle tart is one of my favourite puddings and now you’ve made it even more of a favourite!

    • My Kitchen Stories – ooh, looking forward to seeing it!

      Regula – it was such a lovely break :-)

      Working London Mummy – thank you. I’ve never made Opera cake but there’s a recipe in Claire Clark’s book I’ve been longing to try. Or I saw Ed Kimber had done a passionfruit version on his blog which looked lovely.

      Jennifer – thank you!

      Kavey – all gone, sorry :-)

      Sukaina – I just couldn’t resist!

      Erin – aren’t they great. Although less opportunity to go back for seconds…

      Savory Simple – thank you :-)

      Fabliss – :-)

      Amy – you should never be scared of breadcrumbs! But these are lovely if you want a slightly lighter version.

      Eileen – do give them a go, such a good dessert.

      Laura – aw, he sounds very cute :-)

      Emma – the Bruce Poole book is fab! Very unassuming and the recipes really work. If you like his restaurant food, you’ll love it.

      Londonbakes – hurrah!

      Meg – enjoy :-)

  13. oooh!!! I’ll definitely have to try these, they look gorgeous and I used to LOVE treacle tart as a child

  14. these look absolutely stunning! almonds in a treacle tart sounds really intriguing!

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