Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The elusive Gypsy tart sagas, part II or, the one where I get it right.

After setting out in my last post to make a step-by-step guide to gypsy tart - foolishly assuming it would be successful simply because I was born in Kent - I failed miserably. Now, however, since I've pwned the thing, I feel okay about posting this pic of what my fail looked like.

DO NOT WORRY if your first attempt looks like this, for I have the answer!
We weren't above eating it or anything, but it wasn't a gypsy tart, even if it did taste of scrumptious.

So! Here's how to do it (with copypasting from my previous entry for convenience):Link
0) Become psychic and realise that you will want some Gypsy tart in two days. Place your evaporated milk in the fridge. Alternatively, always keep your evaporated milk in the fridge. Then you don't have to become psychic, which is vastly more convenient. This step is also super important and made half of all the difference.

1) Make yourself some shortcrust pastry. As I mentioned earlier, I like to use Joy of Baking's Pate Brisee (shortcrust). Here's a link, you nice person, you. http://www.joyofbaking.com/PieCrust.html I found that when making the gypsy tart correctly, you get a bollockful of filling, so you should probably make two pie crusts instead of halving the recipe.

226g butter (cold, please), 350g plain flour, (I didn't add salt since my butter is salty). Add to that two tablespoons of sugar and pulse until crumbs:

Pour 60-80ml of ice cold water into the processor. Tip this out onto a work surface, not forgetting to panic about the fact that it doesn't look like it will come together.
Keep calm and carry on. It will form a dough.
Told you.

2) Put that in your pie dish and preheat the oven to 175C. Prebake this sucker for about 15 minutes or until it's basically ready.
Today I was lazy and used a foil tin but this picture is prettier.

3) Obtain some cold shaky milk.
It should technically be 400g, like the sugar. This can is 410g, but I used the whole thing, because I couldn't think of anything to do with 10g of evaporated milk.

4) Whip it with your electric whisk until it actually holds peaks. It will look like whipped cream. This is good. Sorry I forgot to take a picture, I was busy realising where I'd been going wrong.

5) Measure out far more sugar than is good for you.

6) Slowly and gradually sprinkle the sugar into the mix as the whisk is going. This makes the second half of all the difference. Seriously. Bollocks to all those recipes that say "mix together sugar and evaporated milk until foamy". Sod. You. That's not how it's done.

It will be really light and foamy and will do this to the fork:

Notice how full this bowl is compared to what I had before. The milk hadn't reached its full volume at all.
How to not do it right.

7) Pour this into your waiting lazy-arsed storebought pastry in your lazy-arsed storebought foil tin. Take care to eat green pesto the night before and not clean it up.
Here's another action shot so you can see how viscous the stuff is.

8) Lick your fingers, cause it's yummy.

9) Place that into the preheated oven for - I kid you not - 3 minutes. Yes, three. It will come out and you will judge it, but it will be set.

Tadaa! Let it cool to room temperature


Pie crust:
350g flour
226g butter, cold, cubed
60-80ml ice water
2tbs sugar

410g can chilled (2 days) evaporated milk
400g dark brown muscovado sugar (sod demerara)


Make your pie crust. Dump everything except the ice water into your food processor. Pulse until combined. Pour the ice water down the funnel. Pulse some more. Tip out onto a work surface, form into a dough and put this in the fridge for thirty mins. Roll it out and line a pie dish. Prebake at 175C for 15 minutes or until done.

Whip your cold evaporated milk until it behaves like whipped cream. Gradually add in the sugar until smooth and foamy and heavenly. Pour this into your ready pie crust and return to the oven for 3-5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Gain weight.

NB: This:
will do this to your gypsy tart if you don't dogproof it.


  1. Oh very good blog Stace, i thought you had to cook it for longer tho? It seems humans and dogs alike relish gypsy tart, and why not i say :D

  2. No, oddly, if you cook it longer, the sugar will melt and it will go watery and evil (see first pic).

  3. your blog is so delightful. just lovely! your life seems to be so interesting seriously!

    so u moved to finland? thats awesome, i wish i could live there too, love those kind of weather.

    greeting from brasil (:

  4. Sorry my lovelies! I've been knocking out masterful Gypsy tarts for over 20 yrs and you most definitely need to combine the COLD evaporated milk and dark muscavado sugar for the full 15mins. HOWEVER too many handheld electric whisks have pitiful attachments that attempt to pass for a balloon whisk. Get yerself a decent machine: kitchenaid Artisan. Its planetary balloon whisk at full speed will generate a mass of foamy bubbles in the mixture.
    Keep cooking! Mike ( community chef)

  5. ours was an unmitigated disaster. tried the 3 minute bake and it stayed liquid even when cold.

    tried cooking for longer and it swelled up and boiled over the case and all over the oven.

    still cannot get it to set despite 3 attempts.