Butterscotch Tart


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cooking at the Merchant House

By Shaun Hill

Published 2000

  • About

I am not sure whether this is a traditional Lake District dish or whether it was the invention of the late Francis Coulson at Sharrow Bay in Ullswater. Probably a bit of both. The topping looks terribly rich but is in fact a mixture of whipped cream in equal proportion to whisked egg white and is quite light in texture. Do not be fooled, however: this is a seriously filling dessert with plenty of calories tucked underneath in the butterscotch mixture, made from condensed milk and butter.


For the Filling

  • 1 cart condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 225g (8 oz/ cup) demerara (brown) sugar
  • 225g (8 oz/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium (large) eggs

For the Topping

  • 4 tablespoons double (heavy) cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Line a 26 cm (10in) flan case with the sweet pastry and bake blind for about 15 minutes or until it is thoroughly cooked.

To make the butterscotch filling, warm the condensed milk in a saucepan, then add the cornflour and flour. Stir the mixture over a low heat until almost boiling.

In another pan, heat the sugar and butter together. Boil for a few minutes, then add 225ml (8fl oz/1 cup) of water to make a syrup. Bring to the boil once more.

Combine the hot syrup with the thickened condensed milk. Reboil the mixture a final time. Separate the eggs, set the whites aside and whisk the yolks into the butterscotch. Pour the mixture into the tart case and leave to cool.

To make the topping, whisk the egg whites and, in a separate bowl, whip the cream. Fold one into the other and spread over the cooled tart. Cover with grated chocolate and cinnamon.