Soggy Bottoms: Treacle Tart Crazy

Soggy Bottoms - a Bookish Journey through Technical Bakes with a floury spoon, a rolling pin, and eggshells on a slate backgroundIt’s time to bake!

We’re making a treacle tart, a dessert which I have literally never had in all of my three decades on this earth. However, I was rather surprised at the minimal ingredients, many of which I already had in my kitchen. I did have to go to Amazon for the golden syrup though.

Making a shortcrust pastry is really the main component to tackling this bake. Oh, and putting a lattice design on top of the tart. I’ve done latticework for cherry pies, but they’re a pain in the ass and not really worth the effort. Shortcrust pastry was new to me, though it didn’t seem too complicated and I didn’t have to worry about using yeast or letting the dough rise.

I still have yet to find a great way to proof dough in my kitchen when under the time constraints of a technical challenge. If you have suggestions, I’m always happy to hear them.

Now let’s get into it!

Bake: Treacle tart

Episode: Series 3, Episode 3

Whose challenge: Mary Berry

Time limit: Two hours

Resources: BBC has Mary Berry’s recipe!

I also watched a how-to video on YouTube with Paul Hollywood, and his recipe is slightly different.  Just FYI.

Process: This bake was a lesson in winging it, just flying by the seat of my ding dang pants.

Did I succeed? I think so? I’ve never had a treacle tart in my life, so there’s really no baseline for me when it comes to taste. But it was tasty and I suppose that’s all that matters.

I am a chronic procrastinator; it’s been that way all my life. When I waited until the day before this Soggy Bottoms was due to go up, I was certain I had a tart pan. I’m sure you can see where this was going.

Reader: I did not have a tart pan.

Perhaps my local grocery store would take pity on my and have one, even if it’s one of those disposable foil kinds. Wrong.

With time running out and with Amazon unable to help me give my time constraints, I had to “hack” a tart pan. Shoutout to Food 52 for this hack, where I used a sheet pan and aluminum foil. Granted, the sheet pan doesn’t have the fancy removable bottom that comes with tart pans, but this would do in a pinch. For the most part, this trick got the job done, even if my tart looks like the cousin to Frankenstein’s Monster.

A misshapen treacle tart with wonky lattice work on a baking sheet.

I also made the grave mistake of trying to make and form my lattice design right next to my preheating oven. This meant that the dough was getting softer and softer at an exponential pace from the heat of my oven and the heat of my hands. Panic set in and I think we should all pour one out for my sad attempt at lattices.

The time limit for this bake was two hours and I finished with about a half hour to spare. I think that time would have been put to better use if I took more care and time with the lattice design, but you live and you learn. I mean, sure, a lattice looks nice, but your dessert is going to taste the same with or without it. Can you tell I’m not on #TeamLattice?

The final product isn’t pretty, but sometimes, the best desserts aren’t lookers. And this crust was so lovely and flaky. I’m pretty sure I accidentally got some of the crust in my lungs after taking a misguided inhale. There really isn’t any comparison I could make to an American dessert. It’s not overtly sweet and I loved the hint of lemon. Texture-wise, it reminds me of my much loved marzipan.

A square cut piece of treacle tart on a glass plate.

Roman Crazy
A | BN | K | AB

 Reading material: Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci

One of my favorite “winging it” romances is Roman Crazy. The heroine, Avery, is about be divorced and she wants a summer of adventure. She and her best friend head to Italy, where Avery then runs into the one who got away.

Will the romance last beyond the summer? Who knows? But really, it’s a romance novel, so we know the drill.

However, Roman Crazy puts a lot of emphasis on making do with what you’ve got, just going with the flow, and enjoying the experience. It’s not the end of the world that I didn’t have the right tart pan. I did what I could to replicate it and I think I made quite the “unique” treacle tart.

And of course, who cares about looks, right? It’s what’s on the inside that counts!

You can see the rest of my Soggy Bottoms’ bakes here or see the full list in the Soggy Bottom introductory post.

Treacle tart eaters, does this come close to resembling what one should look like? Let me know in the comments!

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