School dinners.... is there any other expression that arouses such a feeling of distaste? I went to 9 schools over my life, and the food I remember was pretty universally awful. Puddings, though, were different. Butterscotch Tart was the highlight of one particular school's menu, and probably the only thing I missed when I had to move on after two terms. There would be a serried rank of slightly warm, greyish plates, each with a little square of tart. Some would fight for the ones with pastry edges, some would fight for the ones that were all tart. I don't remember having custard with it, but if it was the kind of custard that cracked when it was left, maybe that's why! When making this, don't add any sugar or egg to the pastry - there are so many calories in the tart itself, a few more would be overkill...
8oz/225g plain flour
cold water to mix
10oz/300g Demerara sugar (I used soft brown)
3oz/75g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 200deg C. Make the pastry in a 9” flan tin, prick the base and bake blind (this is when you put parchment or foil into the pastry case, then old lentils or rice on top to keep the parchment in place. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and cook for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is just browning - all this to avoid a soggy bottom!).
In a large pan, melt the butter over a low heat, and then add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Then add the milk, slowly, and whisk in the flour. To avoid lumps, it is best to add the flour gradually, and not at the same time as the milk. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth and the butterscotch coats the back of a spoon. Pour this delectable mixture into into the pastry case. Allow to set, then chill until firm. Try a piece. Resist the temptation to have a second piece!