January brings us the arrival of the Seville oranges, a very welcome but short stay visitor for the seasonal cook. This year January has also brought us freezing temperatures and heavy frosts that naturally turn you towards cooking comforting and sustaining dishes to keep out the chill. Nows the time for hearty soups jam packed with seasonal root vegetables and warming old fashioned puddings…. so last Sunday a great British pud made even more special by the zest and juice from a Seville orange became the order of the day.
- For the pastry
- 180g plain flour
- 80g cold butter, cut into small pieces
- cold water
- wholemeal plain flour for rolling ( optional)
- For the filling
- 300g golden syrup ( add an extra tablespoon for a slightly stickier filling or a tablespoon of treacle )
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- finely grated rind and juice from 1 Seville orange
- Preheat the oven to 170℃ / gas mark 3
- Put the flour and butter into a mixing bowl and rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time and bring together into a firm ball of dough.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with the wholemeal plain flour and roll out the pastry ( about 4-5mm in thickness ), adding a little extra flour to the top of the pastry as you roll.
- Line a 24.5cm shallow enamel tart plate and put into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- Put all the filling ingredients into a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Prick the bottom of the pasty base lightly with a fork.
- Spoon the filling into the tart base ( if wanted use the pastry cuttings to make a pattern on the top ) and bake on the lowest shelf in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
- Allow the treacle tart to cool slightly ( it will solidify more as it cools) before serving warm with a big dollop of thick cream and a little extra Seville orange zest grated on the top to taste.
Bringing the shortcrust pastry together by hand with the help of a little cold water, adding it spoonful by spoonful until the dough just comes together into a ball. You dont want a sticky dough, this will make the pastry tough.
Rolling the pastry out on the wholemeal flour and sprinkling a little on the top of the dough when rolling adds a wonderful hint of nuttiness to the cooked shortcrust pastry base and crust.
Using a bay leaf as a template to cut the leaf shapes from the pastry cuttings to pattern the top of the tart.
The finely grated rind and juice from the Seville orange adds a wonderful seasonal bitter citrus flavour to the filling and helps to cut through the sweetness of the golden syrup. Seville oranges make a perfect replacement for lemon zest and juice at this time of the year.
Using fresh white sourdough breadcrumbs for this treacle tart…. but any good quality fresh breadcrumbs will do and best to use from a loaf that is a few days old.
For a slightly deeper flavour and colour you could add a tablespoon of treacle to the filling mix and a handful of flaked almonds for an additional crunch. You could also stir in a teaspoon of spice, like ground cinnamom, ground coriander or a good grating of nutmeg.
Using the scalloped edge of tiny tart tin to pattern the crust, the back of a fork pushed into the pastry works well too.
Lovely crisp short crust pastry, sweet and citrussy treacle filling, served warm with that all special accompanying dollop of thick cream.
Making the most of the unique and bitter citrus flavour of the delectable Seville orange… Now to make a batch of Seville orange curd….. come back for the recipe soon…