Mary Berry Treacle Tart Recipe

Mary Berry Treacle Tart Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 45 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins

Mary Berry Treacle Tart is a classic British dessert, cherished for its sweet, sticky filling and buttery pastry. Infused with the rich, caramel flavor of golden syrup and a hint of lemon, this tart offers a delightful balance of taste and texture. It’s a comforting treat, ideal for gatherings, Sunday dinners, or whenever you desire a touch of sweetness.

In this article, I will guide you through the steps to create Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart, complete with tips and insights to ensure a perfect dessert every time. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying this classic for the first time, this recipe is sure to become a cherished addition to your dessert repertoire.

What is Mary Berry Treacle Tart Recipe?

Mary Berry Treacle Tart Recipe is a delicious dessert that consists of a sweet pastry crust filled with a sticky mixture of golden syrup, breadcrumbs, and lemon juice. It is a classic British dish that dates back to the 19th century, when golden syrup was invented as a cheaper alternative to treacle, which is a dark and bitter molasses. Mary Berry is a famous British baker and cookbook author who has written over 70 books and appeared as a judge on The Great British Bake Off. Her recipe for treacle tart is simple and reliable, and it produces a rich buttery tart with a hint of citrus and a crunchy texture.

This recipe serves 8-10 people and the total preparation and baking time is approximately 75 minutes.

Why You Love this Recipe

This treacle tart recipe is beloved for several reasons:

  • Simplicity: It’s straightforward to prepare, using common ingredients often found in your kitchen.
  • Flexible Serving Options: Serve it warm or cold. It pairs beautifully with whipped cream, custard, or just by itself.
  • Hearty and Fulfilling: Its rich, gooey filling makes it a satisfying dessert.
  • Nostalgic Charm: The recipe evokes fond memories of childhood or classic British literature and television.
  • Delicious Flavor: With its caramel-like taste and a hint of lemon, it’s sure to please those with a sweet tooth.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Treacle Tart

For the Pastry:

  1. Plain Flour (250 grams): Serves as the base for the pastry, providing structure and texture.
  2. Butter (130 grams): Adds richness and flakiness to the pastry. It’s important to use cold butter and rub it into the flour to achieve the right texture.

For the Filling:

  1. Golden Syrup (400 grams): The key ingredient for the filling, giving the tart its characteristic sticky sweetness. Golden syrup is lighter and more refined than treacle or molasses.
  2. Fresh White Breadcrumbs (150 grams): Absorb the syrup and help thicken the filling, while adding a slight crunch.
  3. Lemons (2): The zest and juice of two lemons are used. They provide a tangy contrast to the sweet syrup, balancing the flavors.
  4. Egg (1): Used to brush the pastry, helping to seal the lattice and give a golden finish to the tart.


  1. Cold Water: A small amount is used to bind the pastry dough.
  2. Butter for Greasing: Used to grease the flan tin to prevent sticking.
  3. Icing Sugar (optional): For dusting over the tart before serving for added sweetness and presentation.

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Treacle Tart

Here are the steps to make Mary Berry’s treacle tart recipe:

Step 1: Make the pastry

The first step is to make the pastry for the tart. You will need 250 grams of plain flour and 130 grams of butter. Cut the butter into small cubes and add them to the flour in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor to do this, if you have one.

Next, add about three tablespoons of cold water to the mixture and mix it with a knife or a spatula until it forms a firm dough. You may need to add more or less water, depending on the consistency of the dough. It should not be too wet or too dry. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the oven and grease the tin

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan or gas mark 6) and put a heavy baking tray in the oven to heat up. This will help the pastry to cook evenly and prevent it from shrinking. Grease a 9-inch flan tin with some butter, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides.

Step 3: Roll out the pastry and line the tin

Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into two portions. Set aside one portion for the lattice top, and roll out the other portion on a lightly floured surface. The pastry should be thin and large enough to cover the tin. Carefully lift the pastry and place it over the tin, pressing it gently into the edges. Trim off any excess pastry and prick the base with a fork. This will prevent the pastry from puffing up during baking.

Step 4: Make the filling

The next step is to make the filling for the tart. You will need 400 grams of golden syrup, 150 grams of fresh white breadcrumbs, two lemons, and an egg. Pour the golden syrup into a large saucepan and heat it gently over low heat until it melts. Do not let it boil, as this will make the filling too hard.

Meanwhile, grate the zest of the lemons and squeeze the juice. You can use a zester or a fine grater to zest the lemons, and a juicer or a fork to squeeze the juice. Add the lemon zest and juice to the melted golden syrup and stir well. The lemon will add a nice tangy flavor to the filling and balance out the sweetness of the syrup.

Next, add the breadcrumbs to the syrup mixture and stir well. The breadcrumbs will absorb the syrup and thicken the filling. You can use fresh or stale bread to make the breadcrumbs, but make sure they are fine and white. You can use a food processor or a blender to make the breadcrumbs, or you can grate them by hand.

Step 5: Fill the tart and make the lattice top

Pour the filling into the pastry-lined tin and spread it evenly. The filling should be about half an inch thick. You may have some leftover filling, depending on the size of your tin. You can save it for another use, or you can make some mini tarts with it.

Now, it’s time to make the lattice top for the tart. Take the remaining pastry and roll it out thinly on a sheet of cling film. This will make it easier to cut and transfer the pastry strips. Brush the pastry with some beaten egg, which will act as glue and give the tart a nice golden color. Cut the pastry into long strips, about half an inch wide. Make sure they are longer than the diameter of the tin.

Arrange the pastry strips over the filling in a criss-cross pattern, leaving some gaps between them. Press the ends of the strips onto the edge of the pastry base and trim off any excess. You can use a knife or your fingers to do this. The lattice top will create a beautiful effect and allow some of the filling to show through.

Step 6: Bake the tart

Place the tart on the hot baking tray in the oven and bake it for about 10 minutes, until the pastry starts to turn golden. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan or gas mark 4) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is fully cooked and the filling is set. If the lattice top is browning too quickly, you can cover the tart with some foil to prevent it from burning.

Step 7: Enjoy your treacle tart

Take the tart out of the oven and let it cool slightly on a wire rack. You can serve it warm or cold, with some whipped cream or custard on the side. You can also sprinkle some icing sugar over the tart for some extra sweetness. Cut into slices and enjoy your delicious treacle tart.

Mary Berry Treacle Tart Recipe

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Treacle Tart

You can serve this treacle tart with various accompaniments, depending on your preference and the occasion.

Some of the most common options are:

  • Whipped cream: This is a simple and classic choice that adds some lightness and creaminess to the tart. You can whip your own cream with some sugar and vanilla, or you can use ready-made whipped cream from a can or a tub.
  • Custard: This is another traditional choice that adds some richness and smoothness to the tart. You can make your own custard with some milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, or you can use ready-made custard from a carton or a jar.
  • Ice cream: This is a modern and fun choice that adds some coldness and contrast to the tart. You can use any flavor of ice cream that you like, such as vanilla, chocolate, or caramel. You can also drizzle some extra golden syrup over the ice cream for some extra sweetness.
  • Fresh fruits: This is a healthy and refreshing choice that adds some color and freshness to the tart. You can use any fruits that you like, such as berries, bananas, or oranges. You can also toss the fruits with some lemon juice and sugar for some extra flavor.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Treacle Tart

Here are some pro tips to make your treacle tart perfect every time:

  • Use cold butter and water for the pastry, and chill the dough before rolling it out. This will help the pastry to be flaky and crisp, and prevent it from shrinking or cracking.
  • Use a heavy baking tray and preheat it in the oven before placing the tart on it. This will help the pastry to cook evenly and quickly, and prevent it from becoming soggy or undercooked.
  • Use fresh white breadcrumbs for the filling, and make sure they are fine and even. This will help the filling to be thick and smooth, and prevent it from being lumpy or runny.
  • Use fresh lemons for the filling, grate the zest, and squeeze the juice yourself. This will help the filling to have a natural and bright lemon flavor, and prevent it from being artificial or bland.
  • Use a pastry brush to apply some beaten egg over the pastry before baking it. This will help the pastry to have a nice golden color and a shiny finish, and prevent it from being pale or dull.

Variations of Mary Berry Treacle Tart

Personalize the treacle tart with these variations:

  • Spice It Up: Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to the filling for a warm, festive flavor.
  • Nutty Addition: Mix in almonds, walnuts, or pecans to the filling for added crunch and texture.
  • Fruit Infusion: Incorporate dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or apricots for additional sweetness and a colorful appearance.
  • Chocolate Twist: Include chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings in the filling for an extra layer of richness and indulgence.

Treacle Tart Recipe Mary Berry

How do I store Mary Berry Treacle Tart Leftovers?

To keep leftover treacle tart in optimal condition:

  • Cooling: Allow the tart to cool completely before storage. This step is crucial to avoid sogginess or mold.
  • Refrigeration: Store the tart in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature to maintain freshness and safety.
  • Without Toppings: Keep the tart without any additional toppings like whipped cream or custard to prevent it from becoming watery or spoiled.
  • Single Layer Storage: Place the tart in a single layer in an airtight container to avoid squashing or breaking.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Treacle Tart Leftovers?

When reheating the treacle tart:

  • Use the Oven: Reheat in the oven rather than a toaster or grill to avoid burning or drying out the tart.
  • Low Temperature: Set the oven to a low temperature. This ensures that the tart warms up evenly without overcooking or altering its texture.
  • Brief Reheating: Heat the tart for a short duration. Long heating times can make the tart hard or rubbery.
  • On a Baking Tray: Reheat on a baking tray, not directly on a plate or dish, to prevent sticking or leaking.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: 369 kcal
  • Carbs: 60 g (59 g net carbs)
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Vitamin A: 0%
  • Vitamin C: 0%
  • Calcium: 0%
  • Iron: 0%

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Why is my treacle tart filling runny?

There are a few possible reasons why your treacle tart filling is runny. One is that you used too much golden syrup or not enough breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs help to absorb the syrup and thicken the filling, so make sure you measure them accurately and use fresh breadcrumbs, not dried ones. Another reason is that you did not bake the tart long enough or at the right temperature. The filling needs to be set and firm up in the oven, so follow the baking instructions carefully and check the doneness of the tart by inserting a knife or a skewer in the center. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

How do I prevent the pastry from shrinking or cracking?

To prevent the pastry from shrinking or cracking, you need to handle it gently and chill it well. When you make the pastry dough, do not overwork it or add too much water, as this will develop gluten and make the pastry tough and elastic. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before rolling it out. When you line the tin with the pastry, do not stretch it or pull it too thin, as this will cause it to shrink back during baking. Press it lightly into the edges and trim off any excess. Prick the base with a fork to release any air bubbles. Chill the pastry case in the fridge for another 10 minutes before blind baking it. Blind baking means baking the pastry case with some foil or parchment paper on top, weighed down with some baking beans, rice, or dried pulses. This will prevent the pastry from puffing up or sagging in the oven. Bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and the weights and bake for another 5 minutes until lightly golden2.

Can I use corn syrup instead of golden syrup?

No, corn syrup and golden syrup are not the same and cannot be substituted for each other. Corn syrup is made from corn starch and has a clear and mild flavor, while golden syrup is made from sugar cane or sugar beet and has a thick and caramel-like flavor. Golden syrup is the key ingredient for treacle tart, and it gives it its distinctive color and taste. If you cannot find golden syrup in your local store, you can make your own at home with some sugar, water, and lemon juice. Alternatively, you can use honey or maple syrup, but they will alter the flavor and texture of the tart.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s treacle tart recipe is a classic British dessert that is easy to make and tastes amazing. It has a crispy pastry crust, a gooey golden syrup filling, and a lovely lemon flavor. It is perfect for any occasion, whether it is a family dinner, a tea party, or a special treat. You can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for up to three days, or you can freeze it for up to a month. Just reheat it in the oven before serving, and it will be as good as new.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s treacle tart recipe. If you did, please share it with your friends and family, and leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and see your photos of your treacle tarts.

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