Gypsy Tart with Crème Fraîche and Caramelised Walnuts

Charlotte Fife

Charlotte Fife from Invicta Grammar School for Girls in Maidstone 2017 champion

A gypsy tart is a type of tart made with evaporated milk, muscovado sugar, and pastry. It originates from the County of Kent in England and most specifically the Isle of Sheppy, East Kent.<br /><br />According to legend, an old gypsy woman saw a group of undernourished children near her house. She felt sorry for them, so she made them some food with the only ingredients she could find.<br /><br />I chose this dish because of its origin because I live in Kent, approximately 25 minutes from its origins; now tasting this tart is a household favourite for my family.<br />As a dessert, it should be remembered that they are designed as a 'once a week' or 'treat' and not the norm. In the week, a piece of fruit is suitable as a dessert and an extra special dessert or pudding at the weekend is acceptable under calorie and government guidelines. My dessert is very high in calories, however as it is very rich the portions are not big thus reducing calories and it does provide a source of calcium and vitamin A from the crème fraiche. It is a low source of carbohydrates and as it is from a local farm it possesses live culture which is probiotics an excellent benefit for the digestion and gut. I have also added walnuts to the dessert which are high in antioxidants, omega 3 fats and it is now thought walnuts may support brain health, particularly in teenagers and improve mental health.


Pastry and Filling:

· Weigh out the flour and icing sugar add to a food processor, cube the butter and add to the dry mix.

· Crumb the mix together and add the egg and mix until it just comes together.

· Work together into a log shape and cut into four pieces, clingfilm and rest in freezer for 20 minutes.

· Turn the oven onto 200C conventional oven / 190C fan oven.

· Once the pastry mix has rested take one of the pieces out of Clingfilm and break some dough off the piece. Using a rolling pin roll out slightly thinner than the thickness of a pound coin.

· Place in the tart case that has been pre-greased with baking spray (if you do not have this then use butter or a vegetable oil)

· Going from the outside of the pastry edge lift the edge of the pastry into the case letting gravity do the work.

· Once the pastry in the case uses your thumbs to lift the pastry in the case and use your index fingers to push the pastry into the creases of the cases, this method will give you, lovely finished corners. Put the cases into the freezer for 10 minutes.

· While the pastry is in the freezer put the evaporated milk and muscovado sugar into a free-standing electric mixer, with a whisking paddle.

· Start whisking on a high speed for 15-20 minutes when the pastry cases come out of the freezer or just before. This should mean that the mixture is ready when the cases have finished being blind baked. The mixture should be a light coffee colour and be light and aerated.

· Once the cases have come out the oven, quickly turn down the oven temperature to 150C conventional oven / 140C fan oven.

· Take the baking beans out of the pastry and then pour the sugar/milk mix into the cases, about ¾ full.

· Place in the oven for 6-7minutes

· Once cooked leave on the side until room temperature or slightly warm.

Walnuts and crème fraiche

For the walnuts

· Set up a wire rack with grease proof paper underneath it.

· Add the caster sugar and enough water for the sugar to be coated to a sauce pan.

· Do not stir the caramel, instead slightly shake the sauce pan until the water has evaporated and the sugar has turned into a dark golden caramel.

· Add the walnuts and coat them, pour onto wire rack and leave to cool.

For the crème fraiche

· Heat spoon so you can make a Rocher to serve crème fraiche.

· Serve on black rectangle slates or a coloured plate to offset the circle tart.


For the pastry

· 500g flour

· 250g butter

· 150g icing sugar

· 1 egg

For the Filling

· 1 tin of evaporated milk (400g)

· 375g dark muscovado sugar

Crème fraiche

· 150g. crème fraiche

Caramelised walnuts

· 250g sugar

· handful of walnuts ( about 40g)


· Baking spray