Gypsy Tart - A local Kentish recipe for a cheap but delicious sweet sticky tart from 1950s England.
As a young boy, the world was recovering from a recent world war and bombed wreckage formed the scenery. The kids and adults alike were starved of anything sweet as confectionery was still on ration and so was sugar.
The story goes (and it’s probably apocryphal) that an old gypsy lady was watching some children playing and was so appalled at their sad faces and emaciated condition that she made them a tart, she thought would appeal using whatever she had in the cupboard. As I say I’m not sure it’s true but it’s a nice idea.
This is a tart peculiar to the county of Kent and was eaten by everyone, even the schools served it as it was so cheap and appealing. It’s so sweet I’m amazed any of us children made it to adulthood with any teeth at all ! But we all loved it and ate every scrap. Even now it is still popular locally although it is normally home-made or from craft-fairs.
Gypsy Tart recipe
1 tin evaporated milk 400gms (14 oz.) – Chill in fridge overnight before using
10 oz. muscovado sugar
1 x 10” pre-cooked simple short crust pastry case or make your own
Preheat oven to 200c or 400f
Whisk together sugar and milk for 15 mins until light and fluffy (do not short-cut this part otherwise it may end up with a runny centre.)
Pour into case and bake at same temperature for 10mins
Leave to cool (preferably in fridge) before serving.
I really hope you enjoy this for many of us it brings back some good memories of these rather dark and dismal days. Everyone I know has found it a rare treat, albeit very sweet.
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Have you ever tried Gypsy Tart?
© 2012 Peter Geekie