Whether or not you’re going out to see fireworks tonight, this tart is a must. It’s devilishly dark and grown-up but with a hint of childhood nostalgia, because the secret ingredient is popping candy. I wanted to create fireworks with food, and the bright, bursting flavours of the zest along with crackling popping candy works magically.
Ingredients (to fill a 23cm tart tin):
– 220g plain flour
– 1tsp caster sugar
– 160g unsalted butter, diced
– 2-3tbsp cold water
– 8tbsp black treacle
– 4tbsp golden syrup
– 25g caster sugar
– 150g white breadcrumbs
– 1 orange, zested and juiced
– 1tsp ground ginger
– ½tsp ground cinnamon
– ½tsp grated nutmeg
– 1tsp popping candy
1. Begin by mixing the flour and sugar in a large bowl, then use the tips of your fingers to rub in the butter.
2. Using a round-bladed knife, stir in just enough water to bring the mixture to a dough. Handling it as little as possible, wrap your dough in cling-film, and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
3. At this point, turn on your oven to 190°C, and, in a large pan, heat the treacle and golden syrup until runny.
4. Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the sugar, orange juice and zest, breadcrumbs and spices. Set aside for ten minutes to allow to cool and thicken.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Lightly grease your tart tin before draping the pastry over it (use the rolling pin for support), and use some of the excess pastry to press it into the edges of the tin. Use a sharp knife to trim the pastry to fit the tin. Transfer the pastry case back to the fridge for a further five minutes, or until you need it.
6. Once the treacle mixture has thickened, spoon it into the pastry case. Try and ensure it’s distributed evenly, but don’t press it down too much or you’ll compact the mixture and get less of a rise.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling has risen and formed a crusty top.
8. When it’s cooled slightly, slip it out of the tin (if you can). You can decorate however you like – or even choose not to: I adorned mine with small groups of extra orange and lime zest and sprinkled the popping candy over each, to create edible fireworks.
Tip: When measuring your treacle and syrup, run your spoon under the hot tap first: this will help the syrup to stick less, and means you can measure more accurately.