How to Make Treacle Tart, aka Harry Potter’s Favorite Dessert

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Made with golden syrup and lemon, it's no surprise that treacle tart was a favorite of "The Boy Who Lived."

If you’re not from Great Britain, a few of the meals Harry, Ron and Hermione enjoy while dining in the Great Hall may not be familiar to you (and we’re not talking about Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans).

From steak and kidney pie to Yorkshire puddings, crumpets, English trifle and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs, the series is filled with classic British food. In the books, we also learn about treacle tart, which happens to be Harry’s favorite dessert. Featured in The Official Harry Potter Baking Book, treacle tart is a delightful custard-based pastry that’s similar to this Lemon Chess Pie.

With a flaky, buttery crust and sugary filling made with golden syrup, it’s a rich dessert worth trying if you don’t have plans to cross the pond anytime soon. It would be perfect to serve at a Harry Potter-themed birthday party, too.

Keep reading to learn how to make the treacle tart that’s served at Hogwarts. Don’t forget to brew a batch of homemade butterbeer to serve with it!

What Is Treacle?

Treacle, more commonly known as golden syrup, is an uncrystallized syrup that’s formed during sugar making. It’s essentially the British version of molasses. However, treacle tends to be thinner and sweeter than American molasses.

You can (in some cases) use these two different ingredients interchangeably in recipes with a bit of experimentation. But for Harry Potter’s treacle tart, stick with treacle to maintain the authentic taste of the recipe.

How to Make Harry Potter’s Treacle Tart

Yield: (1) 9-inch tart

Ingredients

Harry Potter Treacle Tart 030122 Toh 01 AdeditLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, cold (plus additional, if needed)

Filling:

  • 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, diced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 lemons, juice and zest (approximately 1/3 cup of lemon juice)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs, beaten

Decoration:

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Tools You’ll Need

To make treacle tart, you won’t need any of these fabulous Harry Potter-themed kitchen items, but you’ll want to grab a few kitchen basics. No trip to Diagon Alley required!

Directions

Don’t be intimidated by the many steps. Making a treacle tart is much easier than brewing Polyjuice potion (and no hair is required). Lucky for you, we’ve given the original recipe the “Half-Blood Prince” treatment and dissected every step of it into easy-to-follow directions with added notes and tips for success.

Step 1: Blend butter and flour

Harry Potter Treacle Tart blendLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Use your fingers to work the cold butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. You could also use a pastry blender, one of the pastry tools that everyone should have on hand.

Step 2: Add wet ingredients and mix

Harry Potter Treacle Tart wet ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Add the egg, sugar, and cold water to the mixture. Mix together until the dough begins to hold together when squeezed together with your hands. It should feel damp but be slightly crumbly.

Editor’s Tip: In testing, we found that we needed to add another 2-3 tablespoons of water to the dough to get it to hold together properly. Add a little at a time until the proper consistency is reached.

Step 3: Chill the dough

Harry Potter Treacle Tart doughLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Shape the dough into a flattened disk that is 1-inch thick and wrap it tightly in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: Hold your Hippogriffs. Don’t skip chilling the dough! This step helps the dough properly absorb the liquid, solidify the fat (for ultimate flakiness) and allow the gluten in the flour to relax (preventing a tough crust). It’s also important for making puff pastry.

Step 4: Roll the dough

Harry Potter Treacle Tart rolled doughLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 400°F with your rack in the lower third of your oven. When the dough is fully chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 to 13-inch circle. It should be roughly 1/4-inch thick.

Step 5: Line the pan

Harry Potter Treacle Tart lined panLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Drape the rolled-out crust into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press and shape the crust into the tin and then trim away the excess to clean up the edges.

Step 6: Blind bake the crust

Harry Potter Treacle Tart blind bake crustLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Line the unbaked crust with a crumpled piece of parchment and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes until it begins to turn golden, then remove. Turn down the oven temperature to 350°.

Editor’s Tip: Blind baking is important because it ensures the crust will be fully baked and prevent the bottom from becoming soggy once the filling is added.

Step 7: Make the filling

Harry Potter Treacle Tart fillingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Next, prepare the filling by dissolving the sugar and water together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently warm the mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture begins to bubble. (This process is similar to making a wet-method homemade caramel.) Increase the heat and let the syrup cook until the syrup thickens and turns a deep amber color. Remove promptly or it will burn and become bitter.

Step 8: Flavor the filling

Harry Potter Treacle Tart fillingLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

To the hot syrup, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and butter. Stir until fully incorporated. If the syrup seizes up and does not initially mix easily, you may put the pan back over low heat and gently warm the mixture until it is evenly combined.

Step 9: Add eggs and bread crumbs

Harry Potter Treacle Tart Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Add the bread crumbs, then quickly add the eggs, whisking the filling quickly and consistently, so the eggs do not scramble.

Editor’s Tip: If you’re nervous about the eggs scrambling, you could try tempering the eggs with a few tablespoons of the hot filling before adding them to the saucepan. We were tempted to do so in testing; however, since the original recipe did not specify to do so, we bravely proceeded to add the eggs right to the filling.

Step 10: Fill and bake

Harry Potter Treacle Tart Lauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Pour the filling into the prepared pastry crust and bake for 25-35 minutes until the filling is golden and lightly set.

Step 11: Cool and decorate

Harry Potter Treacle TartLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar as desired. The Harry Potter Baking Book includes easy-to-use templates for easy decorating. Since treacle tart features bright yellow lemons, we felt the Hufflepuff badger was a fitting choice.

How to Serve Treacle Tart

Treacle tart can be enjoyed at any temperature. However, the traditional British way to tuck into this dessert is to serve it warm with clotted cream, whipped cream or even ice cream on top.

Here’s What I Thought

Merlin’s pants! Harry might be onto something because treacle tart is delicious. It’s incredibly rich, slightly chewy and loaded with a wonderful lemon flavor we cannot get enough of.

However, Harry should count his Galleons that he has magic to help him prepare this delectable but difficult British dessert.

If you’ve ever made a pie or quiche before, then you’ll have no trouble whatsoever with this crust. The filling, however, doesn’t leave much room to swing a broomstick if you’re a novice baker (or not a contestant on The Great British Baking Show).

Getting the syrup to the perfect deep amber color takes time and patience. If you rush it, the sugar will not be fully dissolved. Linger too long, and the syrup will burn and become bitter tasting. If this step makes you nervous, we suggest buying a can of premade golden syrup. It can be purchased at specialty retailers and even on Amazon.

If the golden syrup doesn’t trip you up, adding the eggs is another place one might get their wand in a knot. Making sure the hot golden syrup has cooled enough to not immediately scramble the eggs can get dicey. Just make sure to keep whisking while you incorporate the eggs for best results. If you goof on your first attempt, there’s no use crying over spilled potion—just get back on your broomstick and try again.

Despite these difficulties, making treacle tart is well-worth the attempt to try Harry Potter’s favorite dessert!

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.