Old School Fudge Tart Recipe | How to Make

old school fudge tart recipe

One tart is all it takes

Let us take you back in time with this nostalgic fudge tart recipe that has been inspired by the classic British school canteen desserts. Think vanilla sponge and custard, toffee cream tart, jam and coconut cake and crisp apple crumble – yummy!

This fudge tart recipe will have you reminiscing back to your high school days thanks to its classic vanilla filling that is encased by shortcrust pastry. It really is a rich and decadent fudge treat.

Served with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce or a pouring of cold cream, you’ll find this delicious fudge tart recipe hard to resist!

How to make fudge tart?

First of all you need to start off by making a shortcrust pastry case ready for the filling. If this feels too complex or time-consuming, then you can use a store bought shortcrust pastry dough, ready to be baked blind.

At Call Me Fudge, we rate this great recipe a level difficulty rating of 3/5 as the most tricky part is getting the pastry right! This makes this fudge recipe perfect for those getting into pastry making or those who are intermediate bakers and enjoy a challenge.

Ingredients for this fudge tart

The basic ingredients required for this old school fudge tart are milk, butter, sugar and flour. Below is a full list of items you need (and their measurements) in order to make this scrummy fudge dessert.

What you will need for the pastry:

  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 Cup chilled unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ice cold water
  • Rolling pin

What you will need for the fudge tart filling:

  • 1 +2/3 Cups whole milk (pour half into separate glass)
  • 2/3 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp light brown muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds scraped and pod kept)

How to make pastry for a fudge tart

  1. In a small bowl sift your flour and sugar, then add in your cubed butter.
  2. Using a rubbing method, add the sugar, flour and butter together and combine until it forms a crumble like texture. Feel free to use a food processor.
  3. Add the eggs to a jug and whisk the egg yolk and vanilla extract together with a folk until combined well. Now pour the egg mixture into the crumble.
  4. Knead the pastry dough gently and add in the cold water. Over time, this should start to become a soft dough. Add more water in small increments (1 tsp at a time) if the dough is too dry.
  5. Once the soft dough has formed a ball, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
  6. Remove the chilled pastry dough from the fridge and flour a clean work surface.
  7. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it has a similar circumference to the pastry dish you are using, making sure that the thickness is similar to a £1 coin.
  8. Fit the rolled out dough into the dish and make sure to trim the edge as these are prone to burning. Prick the pastry base with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming.
  9. Rest the dough again for another hour as the dough should be at a chilled temperature when you are ready to bake.
  10. Preheat the oven at 400°F (200°C/ 180°C fan/ Gas mark 6).
  11. Remove the chilled pastry dough out the fridge and place baking paper on top of the lined pastry dish. I recommend you scrunch the baking parchment paper up first, so that the paper isn’t so stiff and allows the baking beans to evenly lay.
  12. Pour in your baking beans, and bake blind your shortcrust pastry. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  13. After 15 minutes, remove the pastry from the oven and whilst being careful, take out the parchment paper. Pour the baking beans into a heatproof bowl to cool completely before replacing back into their designated container.
  14. Return the pastry case back into the oven for a further 5- 10 minutes or until the pastry has cooked completely. If the pastry looks like it is catching colour quickly or past golden brown then you can place some foil on top.
  15. Now remove the pastry case from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely.

How to make the old school fudge filling

  1. In a medium saucepan heat half the milk and all of the butter together until it is nearly boiling, whilst saving half the milk for the next step.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the other half of the milk with all the flour to make a slurry. This should be a smooth and runny paste consistency.
  3. When the heated milk reaches bubbling point, gradually beat in the liquid mix, sugar and vanilla (be careful that the milk and sugar do not burn). Reduce to a low heat, and the mixture should start to thicken. You should keep stirring the mixture to make sure that no lumps form. Stir this for 10 minutes for a thick fudge tart and to allow the flour to cook off.
  4. Now you are ready to pour the thick fudge mixture onto the pastry case. The mixture should level out into a thick smooth finish. You can always use a spatular to to finish it off if necessary.
  5. Leave to cool completely before setting in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Remove the fudge tart out of the baking tray and place onto your desired serving platter. Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar or grating of chocolate (similarly to the school dinners). Serve with butterscotch sauce or cold cream.
  6. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I make my own or use store- bought shortcrust pastry?

This totally depend on you. Whether you are a busy mum or a baking fanatic, making your own pastry will always take more time than a store-bought version.

However, you can make the pastry ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to a week in advance. Either one will be just as delicious.

What can I use if I do not have baking beans to bake blind with?

Baking beans are a great addition to your baking tools as they offer weight and supply an even heat for the pastry when in the oven.

Alternatively, you could use a cup of dry rice or dried kidney beans instead of baking beans, just make sure that you spread them evenly over baking parchment before placing it on top of the pastry. Always remember to prick the pastry with a fork beforehand.

Caution: when removing the pastry from the oven that the beans/ rice will be extremely hot.

Do I have to use a tart dish?

You do not have to use a traditional tart/ flan dish. You can use pie dishes or baking tins with enough depth for the pastry and filling. We recommend these baking trays…

What do I do if the pastry is stuck to the baking tin?

This could be that the baking tray you have used is not seasoned or does not have a nonstick coating.

To prevent pastry from sticking to a baking tin, you can either brush a little oil or butter or use an oil spray to coat the tin. Then put a teaspoon of flour in which, essentially, coats and lines the tin before placing the raw pastry into baking tin.

If you bake regularly, then you may want to consider investing in a nonstick coating spray. We recommend this one non- stick cooking spray.

These methods can also be used when baking other pastry dishes, cakes and puddings.

Help, my milk mixture is not thick enough

If you find that the milk mixture isn’t getting thicker after stirring constantly, then you may need to add more flour. You can do this by making a smaller slurry mix with a ratio 3:1 milk and flour – this should be a smooth paste.

Caution: only add 2 tbsp max because this will change the level of sweetness and could make your filling bland if too much flour is added. Or even worse the added flour is not cooked enough leaving the filling raw, which could cause an upset stomach.

Why doesn’t this recipe use evaporated milk or condensed milk?

tart recipes out there call for evaporated milk or condensed milk, however at Call Me Fudge we have found that using whole milk gives the fudge tart a less sickly taste.

What is the difference between fudge tart and gypsy tart?

A fudge tart, like the name suggests, has more fudge and a denser texture than a gypsy tart. The gypsy tart is traditionally whisked with an electric whisk for round about 15 minutes. Thus, incorporating a lot more air into the mixture making it a lighter filling.

In Summary

If this delicious tart recipe has made you reminisce about your old school life, then it might be one to add to your recipe collection. Baking the pastry first allows for an even bake and helps to avoid those soggy bottom disasters, especially with such a moist filling.

See our collection for more nostalgic comforts.


Hi, I'm Sarah and welcome to Call Me Fudge! From a younger age I've always pottered about in the kitchen and even selling my fudge in the high school grounds. Cooking and baking to me is like second nature and I want to share this passion with you.

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