When most people think of school dinners, they think of all that horrifically congealed, stodgy cack they were served as a child. Me? I only think of one thing… butterscotch tart. I absolutely adored this pudding when I was in school. Before I left, I even went as far as to ask a dinner lady for the recipe! It was on this scrappy little bit of paper that got mislaid over the years. I honestly thought it was lost forever & that I would never again taste the amazingness that is butterscotch tart…
Until one day, I was being nosy at my parents house (as you do) and to my surprise, found the scrappy bit of paper with the recipe on it! It was a little on the vague side but nothing I couldn’t work out if I put my mind to it. And believe me, I was very determined.
So without further ado, here is what you will need to make a 20cm/8″ tart.
For the Pastry
- 250g Plain Flour
- 125g Unsalted Butter, Cold/Cubed
- Good pinch of Salt
- 2 Eggs, Beaten
- Cold Water
For the Filling
- 175g Unsalted Butter
- 175g Golden Caster Sugar
- 175g Plain Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Butterscotch Essence/Flavouring
- 110ml Semi Skimmed Milk
- 20cm/8″ Loose Bottomed Tart Tin
To make the pastry, put the flour, cubed butter & salt into a food processor & blitz briefly until it resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, put the ingredients into a large bowl and rub between fingers & thumbs until the same result is achieved.)
Then add one of the beaten eggs and a little cold water. Blitz again briefly until it just starts to come together to form a dough. (Or mix together with your hands.) Add a little more cold water if you need to but don’t make it too wet.
Tip the dough out and gently/briefly knead together into a ball. Place into some clingfilm, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.
Once the dough is chilled, place between two pieces of clingfilm and roll out a circle to a thickness of about 2-3mm.
Peel off one layer of clingfilm then carefully (cling film side up) lift and drape over the loose bottomed tart tin. Press the pastry down firmly into the base & sides. Try not to trap any air underneath.
Fold the sides down over the edge of the tin and press to “cut off” the excess pastry.
Remove the cling film & excess pastry then pierce all over with a fork.
Loosely cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes. This should stop the butter from melting too quickly and, therefore, the sides from shrinking too much.
Scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper (NOT greaseproof paper as that will stick) and place into the tart case. Fill with baking beans or rice and bake in the preheated oven for 15mins.
Remove from the oven, take out the beans & baking paper. Brush the pastry all over with the 2nd beaten egg and pop back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
To make the filling, in a very large saucepan – melt the butter and the sugar together over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Add in the flour and cook, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes. You just need to ‘cook out’ the flour so it doesn’t taste chalky.
If the mixture starts to split & butter leaks out, don’t panic – all is not lost!
Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add in the salt, vanilla, butterscotch & milk. Beat until smooth and thick. To start with, it will feel like it just won’t come together, but keep going, it will.
If you’re mixture split & you’re having a hard time bringing it together, pop it all into a food processor and blitz on high until smooth and thick. It will be fine I promise.
When the pastry case is completely cooled, pour the filling in and allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to an hour. It should be able to just hold it’s shape when cut.
If memory serves me correctly, the traditional (and my personal favourite) way is to slice & serve with warm custard. Although, custard is definitely something I do NOT remember being nice in school! Steer clear of those horrible powders & premade versions though. Go on, do this tart proud and make some from scratch. There’s nothing better than home made vanilla custard!
With my first bite into this tart, it took me straight back to my school days. I would get so excited when this was on the menu that I would just skip dinner and have two desserts instead! That beautiful, soft & gooey butterscotch filling on a gorgeously golden pastry crust. Just, yes. A thousand times yes!
I hope you enjoyed my nostalgic post this week my lovelies, until next time.