Allegra McEvedy is both a brilliant cook and a dear friend. Her wine bar Albertine supplied our lockdown wedding anniversary dinner back in May – it was amazing – and several of her recipes are firm family favourites. This one crossed our radar after we watched Allegra on Economy Gastronomy (BBC2, 2009) and, with a few tweaks, has become a regular pudding after a Sunday roast. Allow plenty of time to make this: with its high proportion of butter, 2 egg yolks and icing sugar, the sweet pastry is rich and soft, so it really benefits from the long resting time in the fridge.
For the sweet pastry
250g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
175g butter, plus extra (melted) for greasing
75g icing sugar
2 egg yolks (save the whites for brushing the pastry case)
1 tbsp cold water
For the filling
150g day-old white bread, crusts removed
650g golden syrup
150g unsalted butter
50ml double cream
2 lemons, zest only
Large pinch salt
Clotted or double cream, to serve
Rub the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, or blitz in a food processor. Add the icing sugar, egg yolks and cold water and mix until the mixture comes together as a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film, then chill in the fridge for two hours, to rest.
Grease a 26cm loose-bottomed tart case with melted butter, then dust with flour, knocking out any excess. Once the pastry has rested, roll it out onto a lightly floured work surface to a 3-4mm thickness. Lift the rolled pastry by rolling it loosely around the rolling pin, then lower it into the tart case and press it in, moulding to the sides and bottom. Trim off any excess pastry, then chill the tart case in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan. When the tart case has rested, remove it from the fridge and prick the base several times using a fork. Line the base and sides with greaseproof paper (crunch it up first, and open it out), then fill it with baking beans. Bake on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans, brush the surface of the pastry with egg white and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
For the filling, blend the bread in a food processor until it has formed breadcrumbs. Set aside. Heat the golden syrup and butter in a pan over a low to medium heat until the syrup and the butter have melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream until well combined. Pour in the syrup and butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and salt until well combined.
Pour the filling mixture into the cooked pastry case, then return the tart to the oven and cook for a further 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is dark golden-brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly for 15 minutes before serving warm, with clotted cream or whipped cream.