Treacle Tart with Notes of Orange
For me, treacle tart is the classic English nursery pudding. Up there with apple crumble and sticky toffee pudding, it brings me right back to my childhood days. This simple recipe makes for the perfect last minute show stopper. To make that tart you will need a 9 inch, lightly greased, loose bottomed tart dish.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup polenta
- 1 1/2 cup dates
- First set the oven to 180° and let it warm whilst you make the pastry.
- With a fork whisk the melted butter or coconut oil, eggs, honey and salt in a medium sized bowl until they are well combined and the white and yellow of the yolk are completely blended.
- Add the coconut flour and combine to form a dough. It will be slightly more paste like than your regular dough but you should be able to bring it together and hold it in your hands.
- Using your fingers press the dough into the lightly greased tart dish making sure to leave no holes and ensuring that the pastry reaches the sides. There may come a point where you fear the pastry will not stretch far enough to fill the dish but rest assured it will. We are aiming for the thin buttery even pastry of the traditional French ‘Pâte Sucrée’ or sweet shortcrust pastry so be nimble with your fingers and persevere.
- Once the dish is covered it’s time to just prick the base of the pastry lightly with a fork – this just helps to release any trapped air and prevent any bubble like pastry rises.
- Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. The pastry should be firm to touch and dried out. If you feel the edges are browning too much place a piece of tin foil over the top to prevent this. I recommend checking the pastry after 6 minutes to see how the edges are getting on.
- When the pastry is ready remove it from the oven and allow it to cool, still in the tray on a wire rack or windowsill.
- Whilst your pastry is cooling make the filling. This really is incredibly simple. Place the dates into a saucepan and cover them with water (you may need to use less than suggested or more depending on the softness of your dates).
- Keeping the heat at a medium temperature keep the dates moving and help them to soften with a wooden spoon. Next add the zest and juice of both your orange and your lemon.
- Once the dates have broken down and you have a thick gloopy caramel like consistency it’s time to taste. If you feel like it needs more sweetness you might want to add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey. I like a tart tart, excuse the pun, so enjoy the citrusy flavor. It goes wonderfully with a scoop of ice cream or chilled cashew cream.
- Once you are happy with the sweetness add the polenta. You might want to add a little more water here to ensure that it combines well. The mixture should remain caramel like – we are not looking for a solid.
- Tip the polenta into the pan and make sure you whisk as you go. It is important to keep the mix moving. Polenta thickens quickly so if you do find it turning more dough like just add a splash more water.
- Finally pour the treacle mix into the pastry shell and once it has cooled slightly transfer it to the fridge to let it cool completely and allow the polenta to firm up slightly.
- If you can bear it the tart is best left for six hours or overnight – this gives you the cleanest cut, but you can remove it after two to three hours. The treacle should be relatively firm to touch.
- Serve it cold or warmed up in the oven (set on a low setting of about 100° and warmed for about 10 minutes). If dairy is your friend it is delicious with thick jersey cream or vanilla ice cream. Equally it is delicious with some coconut yogurt or cashew cream. I like to have mine with some cashew cream infused with a little brandy.