July 31st is Harry Potter’s birthday – and we’ve been celebrating all week here in the Starving Chef’s kitchen. Harry’s birthday signifies much more than the anniversary of his entrance into the world of magic – it’s also J.K. Rowling’s birthday too! Happy Birthday Harry & Jo!
Throughout the books, Harry jumps at any chance to enjoy treacle – his favorite dessert. But what is treacle exactly?
Black treacle is comparable to American molasses – and in fact, golden molasses can be swapped for treacle if none of the real deal is available. The British also use “golden syrup” which is close to American corn syrup or golden agave. I ended up using a combination of golden molasses and golden agave to achieve an Americanized version of treacle.
Treacle tarts have a chewy filling that is made from breadcrumbs. Whoever thought of turning breadcrumbs into a tasty caramel-esque filling deserves a Medal for Magical Merit for sure.
Treacle pudding was frequently served at the Great Hall as dessert, and truly if you don’t have pie crust, you can add some extra syrup to the breadcrumbs to achieve a more custard-like consistency and enjoy with a spoon. Harry Potter would eat treacle no matter how it was served – I’d like to think he would have also requested it for his birthday.
Treacle Tart | Harry Potter Inspired Recipes
- 1 cup golden syrup can sub light corn syrup
- ⅓ cup black treacle can sub golen molasses
- 2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 1 lemon zested & juiced
- 1 pie crust or homemade pie crust equivalent
- 1 tablespoon water + 1 egg whisked
- clotted cream for topping, can sub whipped cream
- In a large bowl, microwave 1-3 cups water for 1-2 minute intervals – it should be steaming hot but not boiling. Place a smaller bowl in the center of the larger bowl so that the water comes about half way up the sides. Pour the golden syrup into the bowl along with the black treacle. Let soften for about ten minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Stir the breadcrumbs into the softened syrups, leave in the warm water while stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Let rest another five minutes.
- Prepare the pie crust – either by making your favorite short crust recipe or using store bought rolled dough. If using pre-made dough (as used in this recipe) cut a sheet of parchment paper to be about 1/4 inch wider in diameter than the rolled out crust.
- Gently press the crust into a fluted pie pan or tart dish. Spoon the filling into the center and press down to fill any pockets. Fold the excess dough over the edges of the filling or prepare a weave for the top of the tart. Whisk together the egg and water and generously brush over the entire top of the filling and any overlapping dough.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the tart has set in the center. Let cool for about an hour prior to cutting. Serve warm or chilled. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, as desired. Enjoy in the Great Hall after exams or a Quidditch win!