Gypsy tart with pear and cranberry compote

Richard Phillips recreates the delicious Kentish dessert of his childhood
By Richard Phillips
Gypsy tart with pear and cranberry compote
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 20 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the fruit compote

  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 25 g butter
  • 100 g pears, peeled and diced
  • 100 g cranberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 75 ml poire william liqueur
  • 1 orange, grated zest and juice

For the tart

  • 200 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 110 g cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 400 g evaporated milk
  • 330 g dark muscovado sugar
  • pouring cream, to serve


1. For the fruit compote: heat a non-stick frying pan until hot, then add the sugar and allow it to dissolve. Stir in the butter until it melts and the liquid is golden brown.

2. Add the diced pear, cranberries and cinnamon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the liqueur and the zest and juice of the orange and cook for 10-15 minutes on a low heat until the liquid has evaporated and the pears and cranberries are completely cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, but do not refrigerate.

3. For the tart: pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and blend again, then add the egg yolk and just enough of the water to make the mixture come together.

4. Turn the pastry out onto a floured surface and work it together gently with your hands until smooth, being careful not to overwork it. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and grease a 20cm tart tin with butter.

6. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3mm and line the prepared tin with it. Cover the pastry case with baking paper, add ceramic baking beans or rice, and bake for 10 minutes.

7. Carefully remove the beans and paper from the tin, brush the pastry with a little of the beaten egg and then return to the oven for a further 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool, leaving the oven on.

8. Meanwhile, whisk the evaporated milk and muscovado sugar together with an electric mixer for about 15 minutes, until light and fluffy.

9. Pour the milk mixture into the pastry case, return it to the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly risen. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool and set.

10. Cut a wedge of the tart and place it on a serving plate. Add a quenelle of the fruit compote and pour on a little cream.

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