Old School Dinner Style Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch tart… This gorgeously gooey dessert will take you right back to your schooldays – if of course you went to school in the UK in the 1970s or 1980s. This butterscotch tart was always a huge favourite at our school and this is probably the best recipe we could find for it. If you want to make it really authentic serve it with lumpy custard!

butterscotch tart
Butterscotch Tart – enjoy a taste of nostalgia with this easy to make dessert

This dessert is sometimes also known as Gypsy Tart, although true gypsy tart is usually made with condensed or evaporated milk and has a thicker and firmer topping.  The butterscotch sauce in this recipe remains quite liquid and does not set as firmly as gypsy tart.


Butterscotch tart is guaranteed to send you on a trip down memory lane, together with old school dinner favourites such as chocolate crackolate, pink custard and rainbow sponge.  The recipe is actually incredibly easy to make which is great as this elusive dessert almost never appears in shops or restaurants.


Old School Dinner Butterscotch Tart


  • For the Shortcrust Pastry Base
  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g margarine/Stork
  • 30g caster/icing sugar
  • cold water to mix
  • For The Butterscotch Topping
  • 35g plain flour
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 100 ml milk


  1. For the Pastry Base
  2. Sieve flour into a bowl and rub in the diced margarine/Stork. Stir in the sugar and slowly add cold water mixing with a knife until the mixture starts to come together. Once its at soft ball stage put in the fridge/freezer for 15 mins to rest. Once rested, turn out onto a floured board and roll out thinly. Line a 7" flan dish or baking tin. Prick base with a fork. Bake in an oven gas mark 6 for 15-20 minutes until golden. You can bake this blind if you wish - remove baking beans for the final 5 mins.
  3. To Make the Butterscotch Topping
  4. In a saucepan heat the butter and most of the milk over a low light until melted. Add the sugar and the rest of the milk. Gently stir until melted. Next add the sieved flour very gently stirring vigorously as you add it gradually. If you dont stir well at this stage, the mixture will go lumpy.
  5. Let the mixture bubble over a low to medium heat for about one minute to thicken. Leave to cool for a few minutes and turn out into the flan case. Enjoy.
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How Much Does It Cost to Make Butterscotch Tart?

Although decadent, the ingredients work out fairly cheap – especially if you buy budget butter. The most expensive ingredient is the brown sugar which if you buy the supermarkets own brand works out at £1.39 for 500 grams.  Make the pastry with Stork or cooks margarine to cut down on costs.

We calculate the total cost of this recipe to be no more than £2 and it will feed 6-8  depending on how hungry you are – or just  2 people in our house!  You can also make mini versions of the dessert in muffin pans which are ideal for picnics, lunch boxes or eating on the move.

Hints and Tips: To save time, use a pre-made pastry case.  Asda currently offer a chosen by you ready made pastry case for 90p.  If you want to splash the cash, Tesco do an all butter ready made pastry case for £1.98


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