A retired pharmaceutical and industrial chemist, author and historian specialising in military events.
As a young boy, the world was recovering from a recent world war and bombed wreckage formed the scenery. The kids and adults alike were starved of anything sweet as confectionery was still on ration and so was sugar.
The story goes (and it’s probably apocryphal) that an old gypsy lady was watching some children playing and was so appalled at their sad faces and emaciated condition that she made them a tart, she thought would appeal using whatever she had in the cupboard. As I say I’m not sure it’s true but it’s a nice idea.
This is a tart peculiar to the county of Kent and was eaten by everyone, even the schools served it as it was so cheap and appealing. It’s so sweet I’m amazed any of us children made it to adulthood with any teeth at all ! But we all loved it and ate every scrap. Even now it is still popular locally although it is normally home-made or from craft-fairs.
Gypsy Tart recipe
1 tin evaporated milk 400gms (14 oz.) – Chill in fridge overnight before using
10 oz. muscovado sugar
1 x 10” pre-cooked simple short crust pastry case or make your own
Preheat oven to 200c or 400f
Whisk together sugar and milk for 15 mins until light and fluffy (do not short-cut this part otherwise it may end up with a runny centre.)
Pour into case and bake at same temperature for 10mins
Leave to cool (preferably in fridge) before serving.
I really hope you enjoy this for many of us it brings back some good memories of these rather dark and dismal days. Everyone I know has found it a rare treat, albeit very sweet.
Nelson squares - Wartime cake made from scraps
- Nelson Squares - A recipe for a delicious wartime cake made from scraps.
Following the war cakes were very much a luxury and various methods of producing something from nothing were tried. Some were delicious and this recipe for Nelson Squares is one
Manchester Tart or Pudding
- Manchester Tart or Pudding - War-time to date
This was a tart which was a great favorite in the Manchester area. It started life back in the 1800s when it was called a pudding but because pastry was used became known as a tart.
- British sweet rationing 1940-1953 - Homemade sweets
At the start of WW2 foodstuff, clothing and many items were rationed. Sweets gave a feeling of normality as the population suffered nightly bombing raids and widespread deaths.
Traditional Christmas pudding
- EMPIRE CHRISTMAS PUDDING And the history of the pudding.
The Christmas pudding is known the world over as a rich sweet accompaniment to a traditional roast Christmas dinner. It has, however, evolved over the decades from meat,fish and fruit pudding.
Liverpool Tart or Liverpool Judy
- Liverpool Tart or Liverpool Judy
This tart is one in a series of local foods from wartime or 1950s. Liverpool Tart and Liverpool Judy are very similar and both are still eaten widely in the area.
London Pie and London Pudding
- London Pie and London Pudding
As part of the series of local foods, these are old recipes for savory pie and sweet puddings both vegetarian and made from scraps
Mrs Geekie's Home Made Soups
- Mrs Geekie's Homemade Soups
There is nothing like a delicious home made soup that has no artificial ingredients or additives. Try the following two recipes and taste soups like they used to be.
© 2012 Peter Geekie
Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on July 29, 2017:
Glad you like the recipe - my favourite.
I can' t remember Apple Snow other than the name - must look it up....
kind regards Peter
Boo.H on July 28, 2017:
I was looking for this recipe as I remember it being a favourite at junior school in Crayford, Kent. I also loved"apple snow", another
Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on February 12, 2013:
You need a bit of a sweet tooth but I know of no-one who hasn't found it delicious.
I hope your Dad enjoys it and that you two have a great time together.
kind regards Peter
Sam Graham from Australia on February 12, 2013:
This looks delicious. I'm going to try it on my Dad who is visiting us 'Down Under' for the first time
Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on June 04, 2012:
A taste of the 1940/1950 - I really hope you like it
Kind regards peter
Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 03, 2012:
Oh Yummy! I must try this!
Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on May 23, 2012:
I really hope the taste lives up to the memory
Kind regards Peter
Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on May 22, 2012:
You have taken back to Tonbridge were I grew up. When I saw Gipsy Tart I thought I know that name. Sure enough when I dug deep into my memory there is was.
I'll print the recipe, thank you.
Voted up and interesting
Peter Geekie (author) from Sittingbourne on May 22, 2012:
I'm so glad you liked it. Even after over 60 years I still love it although the fact that I'm diabetic stops me eating it too often.
Kind regards Peter
blaeberry from Scotland on May 22, 2012:
Had this at a restaurant in the north of Scotland only last week, so it has clearly travelled. It is so delicious and I can't wait to try your recipe.