National milk tart day has recently passed and I was extremely excited to finally share my milktart recipe with you all. Milk tart is a traditional South African sweet treat, however its origin is still uncertain. Some say it has been influenced by the Dutch settlers and is commonly known as an Afrikaans treat. Many argue that it has similarities to the Portuguese custard tart. I once read that it was introduced by the Cape Malays. Wherever its origin, we are grateful for this little slice of heaven.
It is simply, a sweet short crust pastry filled with a milk custard laced with cinnamon, irresistible. While researching, I found a site that said that there’s nothing sophisticated about the milk tart. I disagree I think it’s the most beautiful dessert I’ve ever had. As Leonardo De Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
So here’s my version of the sweet little South African melktert!
This recipe makes 1 large milk tart or 6 medium milk tarts
- 250 g flour
- 125 g castor sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- Oil for greasing
- 500 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence / 1 vanilla pod
- 15 g butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs. corn flour
- ½ tbsp. cake flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon/ 1 cinnamon stick
- 70 g sugar
- Start with your pastry first
- In a big bowl measure your flour and sugar and set aside
- Next cut your butter into small cubes, this will make it easier to combine in flour
- Piece by piece, combine your butter into the flour by rubbing it in. (the rubbing motion should be done through your fingers)
- Once all the butter is combined you should have a crumbly pastry
- Add the egg and combine, it will give you a firm dough. Don’t overwork your dough it will become too elastic and shrink. If your pastry isn’t coming together add a little water just so that it combines
- Form a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- In the meantime, lightly oil your tart tin and set aside
- Remove your pastry from the refrigerator and roll it out, use flour so the pastry doesn’t stick to your surface
- roll the pastry about 5 mm thick , make sure it’s even all over
- Using your rolling pin, pick the dough up and place over the top of the tin. Make sure it hangs over the edges slightly
- Use your fingers and pat the pastry down, and pat into the grooves of the tart tin
- Neaten the edges and prick holes in the base using a fork
- Refrigerate for 20 mins
- Remove and bake on 180ᵒC for 10 to 15 mins or until golden brown and biscuit like
- Let it cool, then remove from the tin.
- Start with your custard
- In a sauce pan bring the milk, vanilla essence, vanilla and sugar to a boil. For about 8 to 10 mins
- Take off the heat and add the butter, let it melt in
- In separate container combine the eggs, flour and corn flour into a paste
- Once the milk mixture has cooled slightly, add it to the egg paste while continuously whisking
- Thereafter return to heat and boil until thick. It should take 10 minutes
- Pour the custard into the pastry shells and let it cool.
- Thereafter refrigerate until set
- Sprinkle cinnamon over the top if you like
Don’t let the steps scare you, I’ve broken it down so that it’s as simple as possible to understand. This is actually quite easy to do. You can prepare extra dough and freeze it for the next time so your job is half done!
To fit enough pastry in the tart tin, I place my tin over the rolled out pastry, I then cut a circle about 5cm wider than the actual size of the tin so you have enough to work with.
To remove the pastry shell, i use a nifty little trick. I place a wide rim glass in the centre of the cooled pastry. I turn the dish over, gently lift the tin and voila! Removed tart shell.
I added a little spin on the traditional milk tart. I found this in Jamie Oliver’s comfort food. Caramelize sugar in a pan, once golden brown, pour over the top of the milk tart. Let it harden. It reminds me of a hybrid crème brulee.
here’s a helpful video to guide you along!
Happy Baking 😉