If at first you don’t succeed………………….

After the gypsy tart failure of last weekend I was determined to find out where I went wrong. I consulted a few baking forums and got various suggestions. I then asked my sister for her recipe and immediately it became clear that I had made quite a few fatal errors. I had looked up a recipe online and it was so different from my sisters that I was astonished. The online recipe called for condensed milk and evaporated milk, along with soft brown sugar.  Em’s recipe uses only evaporated milk, sugar and lemon juice, which apparently is crucial to help with setting, something about the acid in the lemon reacting with the fats in the milk, it actually makes perfect sense now I think about it. When I mentioned my tart disaster to my mum she pointed out that the milk needs to be chilled overnight which helps it to whip up better. The tips came thick and fast and I stored them all up in my already overstuffed brain for future attempts.

Em’s recipe is from my Grandmother’s little notebook so it is measured in old money but I have converted it into grams for this blog. If you fancy having a go I can assure you that it is pretty much idiot-proof. This idiot made a perfect gypsy tart this afternoon which is currently cooling ready to surprise Big after dinner. He has been a very good boy this weekend so deserves a treat! Make or buy a sweet shortcrust pastry case, or you could make little individual ones. Chill a small tin of evaporated milk in the fridge overnight. This has to be a small tin, weighing 170g, not half of a large tin. While it is still very cold start whisking it in a stand mixer or with a hand-held whisk, starting off slowly and gradually building up to a high speed. After about five minutes it should be thick and creamy and pale in colour. Whilst continuing to whisk, add a teaspoon of lemon juice then slowly add 227g of dark soft brown sugar. You could use light Muscovado but the dark one will give a richer, slightly bitter caramel flavour, which brings a little relief in such a sweet dessert. When all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture has the texture of double cream pour into the pastry case and bake at 160 degrees, or 140 fan for 20 minutes. It should be just set on the top and still pale. It won’t brown at all. Leave to cool before enjoying a slice.

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Thanks for reading. xx

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