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White Miso Treacle Tart, Fennel Seed, Crème Fraîche

by Ollie Dabbous from Essential (Bloomsbury)

Photography © Joakim Blockström

Treacle tart is something I’ve always enjoyed, but, even as a child, I found its sweetness overbearing. Perhaps that’s hardly surprising given that, at its most basic, the filling consists of nothing more than golden syrup and white breadcrumbs. This recipe came from a desire to make it a bit more refined, leading me to add apple, miso, ginger and black treacle, though with a judicious hand, so it irrefutably still feels like treacle tart. This is also lighter and more moist than the classic. Treacle tart is delicious with plain pouring cream, if you want to skip the fennel seed crème fraiche.

Serves 8



30g brown butter (see below), made from 50g salted butter, then cooled

25g milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

16g white miso paste

16g black treacle

180g golden syrup

½ teaspoon ground ginger

finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

120g brown sourdough bread, blended to crumbs (with crusts is fine)

1 Braeburn apple, skin-on, grated, avoiding the core

1 Wholemeal pastry case (see below)

Crème fraîche

400g crème fraîche

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed

finely grated zest of ¼ lemon



Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Mix everything together (except the pastry case!).

Fill the pastry case, then bake for 25 minutes, until the filling is set & golden all over.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.

Crème fraîche

Mix everything just to combine & leave for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve slices of still-warm tart with a healthy dollop of the crème fraîche.

Brown Butter

Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Wait for it to stop foaming, then keep an eagle eye on it, swirling occasionally & stirring the base of the pan regularly, until it is filled with flecks of a hazelnut colour & the butter smells nutty.

Once it is a nice deep golden, pour it into a bowl, including the sediment to cool to room temperature.

Wholemeal Pastry Case (makes 1 x 26cm diameter tart case)

100g unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp more, softened, for the tin

50g icing sugar

20g muscovado sugar

Pinch of fine sea salt

Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

175g plain flour, plus more to dust

40g wholemeal flour

Mix together the butter, icing sugar, muscovado, salt & lemon zest in a food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once everything has combined, add the egg & mix gently until combined. Finish by beating in both flours.

Roll into a log about 4cm in diameter, then wrap in cling film & leave to rest for at least 12 hours in the fridge before use.

Take the dough out of the fridge 5 minutes before starting to roll it, to soften up a little.

Roll it out on a floured surface to 3mm thick, then chill once again in the fridge for 1 hour.

Remove from the fridge & cut out a ring about 34cm in diameter to fit a 26cm diameter tart ring or loose-bottomed tart tin (allow the diameter of the base plus the height of the sides as a guide). Return to the fridge. Spread the 1 tablespoon butter around the tart ring or tin & allow it to set in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Line the tart ring with the pastry & leave to air-dry in the fridge for a couple of hours before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 160C, then place the tart case in the oven and cook for 15 minutes until light & golden.

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