A Kentish classic: The Gypsy Tart

Gypsy Tart

Gypsy tart is a Kentish classic that’s simple to make and deliciously sweet. The story behind the name goes like this: there was a gypsy woman who saw a group of hungry children near her house. She wanted to make them something to eat, so she whipped up the tart using the only ingredients she had- and so gypsy tart was born. Lots of people have fond memories of enjoying it as part of their school dinners, served with an apple to balance the sweet flavour. Our recipe will satisfy a sweet craving at the end of a meal. It’s so easy, you don't even have to make the pastry yourself, you could buy the cases or a block of shortcrust to roll out. Just be sure to whisk the mixture for a good amount of time, don't be afraid of overworking it. It needs to be foamy and the sugar needs to be thoroughly dissolved.


  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 410g tin full fat evaporated milk
  • 280g dark muscovado sugar
  • 23cm tart tin


Preheat the oven to 190 C/ fan 170 C.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, rub the cubed butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then add the beaten egg and 1-2 tablespoons of water to form a ball of dough. Then wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes


Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line the tart tin with it. Leave some excess dough hanging over the edges to trim off later. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for another 5-10 minutes or until golden


Mix the evaporated milk and sugar together in a bowl with an electric whisk for 15 minutes. It should produce a thick brown foam, and the sugar granules should not be visible.


Carefully pour the mixture into the pastry, bake for 20 minutes. The tart should be sticky on top and not wobbly. Leave it to cool, then place in the fridge overnight to set.

Serve with a kentish apple for maximum authenticity

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