Last week we celebrated Jimi’s grandparents diamond wedding anniversary at the local village hall. It was a really special day. All the kids were well behaved — sigh of relief — and in part it’s them that are responsible for this post. They had discovered this small room at the back of the hall to play in, behind the stage. The room was full of old toys and puzzles for the hall’s weekly sale, but it also had towers of cardboard produce boxes packed with hundreds of secondhand books. During one check up on the kids, I couldn’t resist having a nose and I came across some quirky recipe books that looked like they would be worth a read. I picked out three, and popped a few quid in the donation box. So skip to two days later, I was sat down with a cup of coffee leafing through one of them when out fell an old magazine cutting from a 1984 Woman’s Own, and on it was this absolute gem of a retro tart (and I don’t mean the permed and lovely Gina Steer in the photobox btw). 😉
Just the sight of those patterned glass plates took me right back to my own grandma’s house growing up. And the butterscotch with the piped cream instantly reminded me of the angel delight desserts my mum would make us as kids (exotic, I know!) and I knew that I absolutely must make this!
Where the recipe called for dark brown sugar I used light (as it was all I had in the cupboard) but apart from that I didn’t alter anything. And I’m glad I didn’t, as it came out amazing — super retro, but amazing! I was hit by the butterscotch-nostalgia, and the whole desert was just as wickedly delicious as the cutting had promised me it would be. You really can’t beat a classic!
- 175g (1⅓ cup) plain flour
- 100g (1/2 cup) butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 100g (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
- 2 heaped tbsp cornflour
- ½ tsp salt
- 450ml (3/4 pint) milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g (1/4 cup) butter
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 150ml (1/4 pint) whipping cream
- chocolate curls to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Place the flour into a mixing bowl, stir in the cinnamon and caster sugar. Add the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolk and 2 tsp cold water, mix with the breadcrumbs until they come together to form a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Grease a 20cm/ 8in fluted flan dish. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and place it in the flan dish. Place a sheet of baking parchment onto the bottom of the tart and fill with baking beads. Bake blind for 10 mins, remove the beads and cook for a further 5-10 mins until pale, golden and cooked. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile,place the sugar, cornflour and salt into a pan, gradually whisk in the milk to form a smooth paste. Heat gently, stirring throughout, until the sauce is thick and lump free.
- Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the egg. Return to the heat and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat again and beat in the butter and vanilla, beat until smooth and glossy.
- Pour into the cooled tart case and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours until set.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form ,and using a piping bag fittest with a large star nozzle, pipe around the edge of the tart. Finish with a sprinkle of chocolate curls in the middle.