I love, love, love Harry Potter series and I am not ashamed to admit it. There's something about this universe that J.K. Rowling created. Yes, it's very dark at times, but it's still kind and bright at the same time. The magic just pulls me in and each time I read those books (so far I read them all twice), I don't want to let them go, I don't want the adventures to stop. I really love reading, and I spent my childhood and youth reading a lot of wonderful books, but somehow, although I liked them and reread some of them a few times, I never had an urge to reread a book right after finishing it. But after I turned the last page in the last Harry Potter's book I could only do so much to stop myself from picking up the first book again.
Surprisingly, food is actually a prominent subject in those books. Starting with the first time Harry met Hagrid and they had sizzling, plump, juicy and slightly burnt sausages. Oh, my, just typing those words makes my mouth water. And what about the famous feasts at Hogwarts?
"He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup and, for some strange reason, mint humbugs."
And although I try not to eat that much meat now and I recently tried being a vegan for a few weeks, it makes my stomach growl. It's a carnivore heaven.
And then there are desserts.
"When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food faded from the plates leaving them sparkling clean as before. A moment later the puddings appeared. Blocks of ice cream in every flavour you could think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclair and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, jelly, rice pudding..."
I am not too familiar with British cuisine, so the first time I read about Treacle Tart I didn't think too much about it. But it is Harry's favourite dessert, so I read about it again and again and at some point I looked this word up in a dictionary. I was disappointed - apparently English-Russian dictionary translated the word as molasses and what's so tasty about that? I mean it's a great ingredient for a ginger bread, but for a tart? And only a few months later I accidentally saw a recipe for a Treacle Tart in one of my books and it turned out that despite the name, it's actually made out of Golden Syrup. It took me a long time, but I finally made it and... I can see why it's Harry's favourite!
recipe adapted from Caramel by Trish Deseine
for 3 small 11x5 cm forms
For the pastry
- Chilled butter, cut into cubes - 1/6 cups (37 ml)
- All-purpose flour - 1/2 cup+1/8 cup (150 ml)
- Soft brown sugar - 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
- Chilled water - 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
- Chilled vodka - 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
For the filling
- Golden Syrup (or Maple Syrup or Corn Syrup) - 1/3 cup (75 ml)
- Butter - 3/4 tablespoon (10 ml)
- Whipping cream - 1/6 cup (37 ml)
- Egg, lightly beaten - 1
- To make the pastry, mix the butter, flour, and sugar together in a food processor, or in a mixing bowl, using your fingertips to combine, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Make a hollow in the center and pour in water and vodka (if not enough, add a little bit more vodka) to make a dough.
- Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry and use it to line the forms. Chill in the refrigerator for another 40-60 minutes.
- Preheat the over to 350F (180C) and put a baking sheet in the over to heat up.
- Gently heat the Golden Syrup in a small saucepan.
- Add the butter and stir until the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and gently stir in the cream and the beaten egg. Be careful not to scramble the egg, if, however, egg white cooks a little, then pour the mixture through a fine thieve to get rid off the egg white lumps.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling has set.
- Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes before serving with whipped cream.
Just to show the size of the tart forms. I had three of those from the recipe.