Friday, January 27, 2017

Treacle Tart Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

At the end of each month I always almost always post a recipe that uses a beloved food from a book that I like. This month's Book of the Month is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because 1) I love Harry Potter and 2) I'm trying to do a recipe from each Harry Potter book with the end goal of having a Great Hall feast. Because who hasn't dreamed about a Great Hall feast?

I fully intended to make bouillabaisse. I was always rather disappointed that this scene never made it into the movie: 

“What’s that?” said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding.
“Bouillabaisse,” said Hermione.
“Bless you,” said Ron.
“It’s French,” said Hermione.

I've never identified more with Ron than at that moment. I can't ever pronounce anything French. I have a hard enough time with English, and that's my native language. 

Anyway. Bouillabaisse. I decided to make it before knowing what exactly it was. Then I looked it up and saw that the ingredients include "Live Lobster." 

Ha. Right. That is a big fat nope for me. 

So I decided to try another Harry Potter recipe I'm always curious about. Harry's favorite desert: Treacle Tart. 
Treacle Tart Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
But first, in case you don't know what The Goblet of Fire is about: 

Harry Potter is looking forward to a normal year at Hogwarts. No Voldemort, no people thinking he's a mass murderer, no playing with Time Turners. Hogwarts is hosting the Tri-Wizard tournament, and he's looking forward to watching the event play out. He is not old enough to volunteer to take place in this deadly magical competition between different wizarding schools, so it looks like this year he will be out of harm's way for a change. But then his name is shot out of the Goblet of Fire, indicating that he has been chosen as a school champion. But Harry didn't put his name into the Goblet, and he most certainly didn't want to be at all involved in it. But here he is, once again in the spot light. Once again disliked by his classmates. And, it would seem, once again in the path of He Who Must Not Be Named. 

Unlike most fans of this series, Harry is actually a favorite character of mine. We have a lot of things in common: Events that were out of our control changed the way we have to live our lives. I got Lyme disease, he had to live with the Dursleys. He and I both struggle with figuring out how to best live our lives in the face of these events, and we both tend to get angry and frustrated a bit too quickly about our problems. We're both stubborn, have outbursts of both intelligence and stupidity, are willing to stand up for what we believe in, and, as it turns out, we both love treacle tart.
For those of you who were like me 10 days ago and have no idea what a treacle tart is, allow me to explain: Treacle tart is a tart made out of golden syrup. Golden syrup is a specifically English sugar and water syrup.

Supposedly it is possible to buy golden syrup here in America (or simply order it online), but I was wary of the amount and kind of sugar used in commercially made golden syrup, so I decided to make my own using less sugar and some lemon juice to cut the sweetness. I also decided to make the tart crust using spelt flour to reduce the amount of gluten in the crust. Basically, this is a slightly healthier version of treacle tart.
Yep. Those are spells in mini bottles. Christmas present from an epic friend.

Golden Syrup Recipe

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 cup of cane sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water 
  • 2 thick lemon slices
1. In one saucepan, bring the 1 and 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Have it ready. In another saucepan, dissolve the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cane sugar and bring to a simmer. Keep a close eye on this. You want it to turn a pretty amber color. If it goes beyond that it burns very quickly and, well...see for yourself: 
This is what I call Seamus Finnigan Syrup. 

2. Once you get your amber colored syrup (preferably on your first try), remove from heat. Add the boiling 1 and 1/4 cup of water slowly. It will bubble and splash, so be careful.

3. Add the 1 cup of sugar and the 2 lemon slices. Now bring to a slow boil. Allow it to boil for about 45 minutes to an hour. Try not to stir it too much. It will thicken slightly while it's hot, but you'll need to pour it into a jar and allow to cool before it thickens. If it isn't the thickness of syrup when it cools, don't panic. Just boil it for a bit more. 
This stuff tastes amazing. I may have stirred it several times just so I could lick the spoon. It also works as a great tea sweetener. 

Spelt Flour Crust

You can use whatever kind of crust you want. I just chose to use this one because I don't like the way gluten-free crusts taste, but I don't like what's done to white flour. So spelt felt like a happy medium.

  • 1 cup of spelt flour, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon, for those of you who get confused by this terminology) 
  • 6 tablespoons of ice water
1. Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the 5 tablespoons of butter until the butter is the size of peas. Or, you know, very un-uniform peas that look more like a plant Neville would like:
2. Add the water. You made need more (or less) depending on how many nargles are floating about. Shape into a ball. Chill in the fridge for an hour. 

3. Roll the crust out to be about 1/4 inch thickness. Place in your chosen tart dishes and poke holes in the bottom and sides with a fork.
Cover with parchment paper, fill with beans or rice. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes. Uncover and bake for anther 5.

Treacle Tart
  • 1 cup of golden syrup 
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or half and half 
  • Zest of one lemon, plus the juice from half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup of bread crumbs. You can use pretty much any kind of white bread. I used sourdough. The reason behind the bread crumbs is to give something for the syrup to stick to, thus allowing the tart to set. 
1. Bring the syrup, heavy cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir. 

2. Pour this filling into your tarts. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The filling should be set, but still slightly jiggly. Allow to cool. 

Serve warm or cold, with or without clotted cream. Any way tastes amazing. 
This is a new favorite of mine. It tastes a bit like a lemon curd tart, only with a slight honey flavor. I think my version of treacle tart has more lemon flavor than traditional, which is fine by me because I like lemon. Definitely something I will make again. 

Have you ever had treacle tart? What do you think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? I know it tends to get a bad rap for being too long, but I personally really enjoyed it. I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Related articles: 
Mrs. Weasley's Chocolate Fudge Inspired by Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone
Pumpkin Juice Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Butterbeer Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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  1. Great post! Just looking at that Tart ,made my mouth water.

    I personally liked the Goblet of Fire. Like you said, it is often written off by fans as too long and dryer than the others, but I personally didn't see that (I actually thought the Order of the Pheonix was the dry one that weant on too long) Anyway, just thought I would say that, and great post!

    1. Yeah, same here with the Goblet of Fire!

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post! If you ever get a chance to eat treacle tart, go for it. It is amazing. =D

  2. Looks delicious! It's a recipe I'm definitely going to try.

    1. Yay! It is a ton of fun. I'd love to hear how it goes!

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