Gypsy Tart recipe
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- Dish type
- Pies and tarts
A gypsy tart is a type of pie made with evaporated milk, muscovado sugar (though some varieties include light brown sugar), and pie crust. The tart is extremely sweet and is, for many people, associated with school dinners.
Kent, England, UK
198 people made this
- 400g (14 oz) tin evaporated milk
- 340g (12 oz) dark mucovado sugar
- 10 inch pre-baked shortcrust pastry case
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:20min cooling › Ready in:45min
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C, 400 degrees F, or Gas 6.
- Whisk evaporated milk and sugar together for approximately 10 minutes. Until light and fluffy and coffee coloured. Pour the mixture into the pastry case.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- The surface will appear slightly sticky but will set completely when left to cool.
It is best served cold.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(11)
Reviews in English (12)
I have tried the gypsy tart recipe twice with evaporated milk and brown sugar .Both times the pie mixture did not set and it looked like a steak and kidney pie -All liquid-25 Aug 2012
Used different ingredients.I made this recipe a couple of years ago and loved it. It took me straight back to school in Kent!The amounts stated for the filling part make more than enough to make two tarts, so you might want to use two pastry cases at least. The other tweak was to put thinly sliced banana on the bottom of the case before putting the filling on top. This makes a nice fruity, but still wickedly naughty, Gypsy Tart.-22 Apr 2011
I had been looking for a long time for a recipe for this yummy desert, like loads of others who had it at school. It is too much for a 10" unless it's pretty deep...I did 2 x 9" and also added and egg at the end to ensure it set, as suggested by another reviewer. It set OK and I left it for 15 minutes in the oven,Yummy..made 3 in a week and all were very very good.-18 Mar 2012
Gypsy tarts recipe
Credit: TI Media
Nutrition per portion
Apparently these super sweet tartlets were born when a lady wanted to feed gypsy children who played in fields near her house but only had these few ingredients in her cupboards. Whatever the origin, we think these evaporated milk tarts are delicious. They take just over half an hour from start to finish and are a delicious afternoon partner to a cuppa or as a dessert. The kids will love one of these after their tea for a special weekend treat.
Gypsy Tart. Pie Magic!
As usual, I&rsquom closely following the Great British Bake-Off and loving the traditional UK desserts I learn more about each episode. Regular readers of Rock Recipes will know that British desserts have become a bit of an obsession for me.
We have had many successes with traditional British &ldquopuddings&rdquo or &ldquopuds&rdquo over the years, and they have become very popular with our followers as well. A few of our previous UK dressert hits, have included, Banoffee Pie , English Custard Tart , Prince William&rsquos Chocolate Biscuit Cake and of course, our incredibly popular Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I suspect there will many more to come, as I am continuously getting inspired by British puds, the more I learn about them. Bakewell Tarts, for example have also been on my radar for a while. I&rsquoll get to that one soon I&rsquom sure.
Evaporated milk is not common everywhere but you can find it on Amazon . (click photo) (Affiliate Link)
Origin of Gypsy Tart: School Lunches
Noel Fielding, one of the hosts of The Great British Bake-Off, was quite nostalgic about Gypsy Tart, when one of the contestants baked it for one of the challenges. He remembered the tart fondly as his favourite dessert served at school lunches in the UK.
Over the years of watching British cookery shows, I have heard of many dishes from UK school lunches. That includes many that definitely did not evoke the same nostalgic response.
From stoggy, fatty stews to spam fritters, and more recently, as Jamie Oliver aptly criticized, the notorious Turkey Twizzlers, some of those lunches sound like the thing of nightmares for me. However, I have also very often heard, from both chefs and home cooks alike, a certain fondness for the desserts which always ended those school lunch meals.
Traditional desserts like Jam Roly Poly, Chocolate Sponge with custard, and yes, Gypsy Tart, all seemed to be the reward for surviving the main course! The best memories of school dinners, seem universally centered on these traditional desserts.
Origin tales and myths.
Online research showed that the original recipe came from the Isle of Sheppey in Kent county. I&rsquove read that it remains popular there despite being lost or relatively forgotten by much of the rest of the country.
The origin legend of Gypsy Tart, most often centers around a woman who wanted to feed something to hungry traveller children. Another version has the woman herself being a gypsy and the original baker, using common ingredients which she had on hand.
With no definitive proof, you can, like I often do, take those origin stories with a grain of salt. Perhaps nobody really knows for sure.
Use Muscovado sugar if you can find it but I used dark brown sugar in this recipe. In my experience the darker the sugar, the deeper the flavour.
Super simple with common ingredients but I have a tweak to make baking success a bit easier.
I did try and make this gypsy tart a couple of times to experiment. The original recipe calls simple for whipping together muscovado sugar (a type of brown sugar) and plain evaporated milk for up to 20 minutes.
The instructions for several recipes online said mixture is supposed to get foamy, almost to the point of soft peaks. I did have an issue with that but I think I know the reason.
I whipped the sugar and evaporated milk in my Kitchenaid stand mixer for over 20 minutes with no success. It still remained mostly liquid.
When I looked at brands of evaporated milk from the UK versus here in Canada, it seemed pretty clear that they did not have the same milk fat content. The UK versions always seemed to be about a couple of percent higher in fat than their North American counterparts.
Real dairy butter gives great flavour to your pastry.
Tweaking the ingredients for Gypsy Tart.
Thinking that was the likely reason, I decided to add some whipping cream into the mix to gauge the result. I also switched to my electric hand mixer to beat the mixture. That&rsquos because I thought that would introduce more air into the mix to make it more foamy.
I never did get to the &ldquoalmost soft peaks&rdquo stage that some recipes described. However, I did get it quite foamy and substantially increased in volume. The extra whipping cream addition and the equipment change did the trick!
The resulting pie filling, after cooling and setting, was creamy smooth and luscious. The flavour reminds me strongly of butterscotch or a caramel tasting dulce de leche. It was utterly delicious!
The recipe is quite rich and sweet, so we served it in very small portions, like you would for ultra rich desserts such as cheesecake or pecan pie.
I shared the resulting Gypsy Tart with a couple of friends, who absolutely raved about it. They could not believe it was such a simple recipe.
I have made a couple of other tweaks, like adding a little salt plus a small splash of vanilla extract. I find vanilla always find elevates any caramel type flavour.
S ome intrigued family members are already requesting to sample it, so this may become a new option for Sunday dinner dessert in the future. It sure does make a satisfying end to a great comfort food meal.
Blind Baking a pastry crust.
Blind baking a pastry crust means it&rsquos crisp and flakey with no soggy bottom!
How to blind bake a pastry crust. First, prepare your pastry as directed.
Add a layer of parchment paper and baking weights, like this brown rice, which I use many times over.
Pastry crust after the first 15 minutes, baking weights removed.
Finished flakey pastry crust after the second baking.
In the UK, Gypsy Tart is almost always made with a sweet shortcrust pastry. However, because the filling is so sweet and rich, I thought that regular unsweetened flaky pastry, like I use in our famous Butter Tarts Recipe , would be a better choice. I saw no reason to add additional sweetness to the crust.
That being said, there&rsquos no reason not to use a shortcrust pastry if you prefer. Many bakers find that pastry easier and more forgiving, so that&rsquos a good enough reason to use it too.
Love amazing pie recipes?
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Gypsy Tart Recipe
This has got to be the most famous tastiest & quickest dessert that originates from my home county of kent. Theres not one person from kent who wont remember this dessert from school. Theres only one real recipe for this dessert & here it is. Read more I can personally guarentee taste satisfaction with this dessert:-)) See less
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- Ok..sharpen your pencils, this might take some time!
- 1 tin evaporated milk 400g (14oz)
- 10 oz muscovado sugar
- 1 10inch pre cooked shorcrust pastry case or make your own
- Ok..sharpen your pencils, this might take some time! shopping list
- 1 tin evaporated milk 400g (14oz) shopping list
- 10 oz muscovado sugarshopping list
- 1 10inch pre cooked shorcrust pastry case or make your own shopping list
How to make it
- Resharpen pencils
- Pre heat oven to 200c (400f)
- Whisk togeather the sugar & milk for about 10-15mins until light & fluffy. Pour into case & bake for 10 minutes. remove from oven & leave to cool.
- Serve on its own or with clotted or whisked full fat cream
People Who Like This Dish 30
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- pizzaman1976Ashford, Uk
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- Plus 20 othersFrom around the world!
I've just made Gypsy tart and apart from it being seriously delicious : ) It's the easiest Sunday lunch dessert I've ever made.
Everyone's plates were practically 'licked clean' : )
It brought back childhood memories of my favourite school pudding. If only I could find the recipe for my favourite school dinner too 'sausage and onion pie' which was orange in colour!
I Live in Kent and no one else i knew ever remembers this, i was a baker as a young lad and always used to make it in my town here in Kent,
the only difference in what i did was i never baked it i used the heat from the pastry case to set the mixture..
I am doing a meal for 40 tomorrow and i am gonna try your way, i havenot made it for over 10 years, so i am up for a challenge,, thanks so much for putting on the web.
My pencil lead broke. !
I'v had this and it is sooooo good and light. My friend's mum is from England, now living in Canada. And I thought she had spent all day on it!
OMG. this sounds wonderful. I i have to try and make this. I love the name of it too. are you sure its not just a little bitI irish. with the gypsy in it. lol.
Find the most delicious recipes here
Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust a worktop with the icing sugar and lay out the pastry, also dusting the top with the sugar. Roll this out so that it's just larger than the tart tin.
Roll it around the pin, and unroll over the tin. Press the sides down and into the edges and then roll the pin over the pastry for a perfect scalloped edge. Press fork marks all around the base. Line with baking parchment and pour in baking beans.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the pastry edge is just beginning to turn golden. Remove the baking parchment and beans, and return the pastry to the oven for 5 more minutes to dry out the base.
Meanwhile put the evaporated milk and sugar in a bowl. Using a hand-held whisk beat for 15 minutes. Don't scrimp on this, as it makes a real difference. Pour this mix into the pastry case.
Return to the oven, having reduced the heat to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 10-15 minutes. It should have a slightly tacky surface and will continue to set as it cools. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Cut into slices and serve with a dollop of clotted cream, crème fraîche, natural yogurt or clotted cream ice cream.
3. Make the filling
The filling is easy to make. Simply take the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and muscovado sugar and add them all to a mixing bowl or food processor.
Next, mix on a gradually increasing speed for 8 minutes until the mixture has increased in volume.
Finally, pour the mixture into the base. The school pudding gypsy tart is now ready for baking.
I thought, when all these safer-at-home orders started, that I would be an absolute cooking machine. Testing three and four recipes a day, absolutely alight with creativity. And I’d make myself fantastic meals twice a day. I planned to become an expert on cooking from the pantry and the freezer. But it hasn’t happened. I still cook – it’s my job – but that burst of energy and creativity hasn’t come. I’ve conquered a couple of long delayed kitchen projects, but I haven’t written a whole new book. And my meals have tended toward the peanut butter sandwich variety more than I care to admit. As far as posting on this site, it’s been a little tricky, I generally have a store of recipes created months, sometimes years in advance, but they haven’t felt like the right thing to do. Feasts for a family Easter, fiesta meals for Cinco de Mayo or decadent ideas for special occasions. I’m just not sure about the right way to precede here.
I have been exploring some recipes and ideas for cooking with fewer, more available ingredients, and I share them on my Facebook page and Instagram feed. I’ve flipped though old cookbooks and seen what other people are creating. And I stand in my own pantry and think about ways to use things. Somewhere in the back of my mind was this niggling idea of a pie made with evaporated milk and sugar. I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it or why it was in my brain, but it just kept tapping at my memory. I thought maybe it was a Depression era recipe, so I started looking through community cookbooks from the 40s. I was thinking Southern, but when I didn’t turn anything up, I went through those resources from other regions. Then it hit me that maybe it was a wartime rationing recipe from England, so I searched through a few books I have on that era, but to no end. Then I took to the internet. It was a circuitous route, searching for “evaporated milk and sugar pie,” but eventually, through some trick if internet luck, I came across Gypsy Tart and knew that’s exactly what I had in mind. There are lots of resources for Gypsy tart, and many stories to go with it – some of which admit to being pure speculation – but it appears to be a specialty of Kent in England, and many of the articles I read said that people from Kent love it, but outside the area are not familiar with it, so how it came into my consciousness I cannot imagine.
The point is, it is a very simple and utterly delicious pie made with very few ingredients. And it is very different than what I expected, in a lovely way. Somehow, in my mind I imagined something similar to a chess pie, but it is not that at all. It is a light and airy mousse with a deep, treacly, molasses-y flavor that is a complete surprise in something so delicate. And it is not cloyingly sweet at all. Many recipes called for a sweetened pate sucree style crust, but I couldn’t see it needing any more sugar, so I went with a simple, basic crust – I even tested it with a pre-rolled, bought pie crust which works a treat. The secret here is to whip the milk and sugar more than you think you should until it is stiff, then to slip it into the oven for less than you think you should. I had some filling the first time round that I just couldn’t imagine would fit in the crust, so I put it in a ramekin and baked it along with the pie. It turned out beautifully too, so I think you could even do this without the crust if you are in a bind. I find screw top boxes of evaporated milk that are 17 ounces. A can is 12 ounces, so you will need two to make this recipe. And the milk needs to be chilled before using. Original recipes called for muscovado sugar, but I went with the readily available dark brown sugar. Don’t pack it heavily into the measure, just lightly tamp it in to fill.
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Gypsy Tart recipe
What could be better for Victoria Day at the cottage than a Victorian dessert? Gypsy Tart is sweet, simple, and incredibly delicious, using just two ingredients for the filling and three more in the simple, nutty crust.
The dish originated on the Isle of Sheppey, located near the mouth of the Thames on the English Channel. For a while Gypsy Tart was a regular part of school lunches all over England, but it seems to have faded away somewhat.
If you’re looking for a not-too-sweet dessert, this is not it: Gypsy Tart is really sweet! But served in thin slices with a side of sliced apple to balance the sweetness, it’s a great way to end a meal.
While few of us use canned milk for anything other than baking these days, at the end of the Victorian era condensed milk and evaporated milk were enormously popular. With little to no refrigeration available, canned milk was often the only milk available. It was relatively cheap and while it didn’t have all the nutrients of whole milk, it was better than nothing. So it’s not surprising that both evaporated and condensed milk were used in a wide array of recipes.
The legend of Gypsy Pie hints at that: the story goes that a gypsy woman encountered a band of hungry children and wanted to give them something to eat. She only had a few ingredients, including a tin of evaporated milk, and so the dish was born.
Be sure to use evaporated milk for this dish, not condensed milk: the latter will make your Gypsy Pie much too sweet, even for hungry Victorian street urchins! If you can find muscovado sugar, use it. If not, use the darkest brown sugar you can find.
Beating together the filling is a vital step. Fifteen minutes with an electric mixer is a long time, but it makes a big difference. While you’re doing it, think for a moment about the strong-armed Victorian bakers who did this part by hand!
This recipe comes from the tourism site for Deal, England. Deal is located an hour’s drive from the Isle of Sheppey, so it is quite authentic.
1 can unsweetened evaporated milk
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar (muscovado sugar, if you can find it)
Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the butter and cut it until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and add it, along with 1-2 tbsp of water, and mix to form a dough.
Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Roll the dough on a floured surface, then place in a nine-inch pan. A fluted tart tin is traditional, but if you don’t have one, you can use a pie pan. Leave the edges a bit long to allow for shrinkage in the oven.
Place a disk of parchment paper inside the pastry shell, pour in some dry beans or baking beads, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, until golden.
Mix the evaporated milk and sugar together in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 15 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture is incredibly light and frothy.
Pour carefully into the pie shell and bake for 20 minutes. It should be sticky on top, but not wobbly.