A sweet, tart made with sourdough crumbs and golden syrup

THIS is a decadently delicious tart, and a fine example of how a few basic store-cupboard ingredients can quickly deliver on richness, flavour and visual impact.

Who doesn’t have a tin of golden syrup in the cupboard (probably out of date but as it’s made from inverted sugar it really does not go off)?

You might think using sourdough breadcrumbs in this is an affectation but I did it for two reasons. I make all my own sourdough at home, so I always have leftover crusts and I hate throwing them away. Plus, I was interested to see whether the slight sourness from the crumb would have any flavour impact on the extremely sweet filling. And it does. It adds a dimension that is subtle but noticeable, and improves the balance of flavours.

There is no blind baking involved so it’s quick to make. You could use shop-bought shortcrust pastry, or even a pre-baked pastry shell (I won’t judge. Or tell).  If you’re making your own pastry you can substitute dairy-free spread and make it vegan. You could do this as one large tart, or small individual ones, even as thimble-sized dainty canapes to eat one moutful at a time.

If you’d like to decorate it like mine, most of the supermarkets now sell edible flowers in small tubs with the herbs, or your local fruit and veg shop might have some. I serve mine with crème fraiche, again for the sour edge that cuts through the sweetness.

You will need a 20cm pie dish, loose-bottomed tart tin or flan ring.


(Serves 6-8)

For the pastry

180g plain flour

15g icing sugar

90g unsalted butter (cut in to tiny cubes and preferably frozen for 10 minutes)

5g fine sea salt

1 whole egg (can be omitted, just use more water)

Fridge-cold water to bind


80g sourdough bread, blitzed to a fine crumb

200ml golden syrup (use a spoon dipped in boiling water to make measuring easier)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

5g ground ginger (optional)

Crème fraiche, summer fruit and edible flowers to serve


In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, sugar and ice-cold butter and blitz to a coarse crumb. With the motor running, add the whole egg if using, and a splash of cold water to bind. Quickly tip the mix onto a work surface and bring together in a ball, clingfilm and refrigerate for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 190C with a baking sheet on the middle shelf.

Gently heat the golden syrup in a saucepan and add the lemon zest and juice, and the ginger if using.

On a floured surface roll out the pastry and line the tart tin or mould, making sure there are no cracks or gaps for filling to leak through.

Pour half the warm syrup in to the pastry case and sprinkle half the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Allow them to soak in to the syrup, then top with more syrup and a final layer of breadcrumb. Allow the breadcrumb to soak in to the syrup.

Place the tart tin on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is almost set and the pastry edges are getting brown.  It will harden further as it cools.

Allow to cool and serve at room temperature or slightly warm.