Every time I've ever visited my grandparents (Oumie and Oupie) there have been two milk tarts waiting in the fridge, and they are always polished off by the time we leave. Oumie certainly knows how to keep us all happy! Everyone in the family, including all of our non-South African partners, go crazy for it. It has become a way of thanking or bribing each other.
Milk tart or Melktert (in Afrikaans) is a traditional Afrikaans dessert that was originally brought to South Africa by the Dutch milk farmers in the 17th Century, with the cinnamon introduced by the Cape Malays. This is a fail-safe recipe my friend Garth shared with me a few years ago, and I have never looked back. My sister-in-law Isi really struggled to make a good milk tart until she tried this one...
Milk Tart Recipe (Makes 2 tarts)
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Pinch Salt
4 Cups Milk
1 Tbsp Butter
2.5 Tbsp Flour
2.5 Tbsp Cornflour
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well then press into 2 pie plates. Prick all over with a fork and then cook for 15 minutes.
Pour the milk and butter into a pot and heat until the butter has melted. In the meantime mix the rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste and then add to the heated milk, mixing well. Return to heat and stir until thick. You will have reached the right thickness when the mixture starts sticking to your spoon. Pour into the baked shells and sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool so that the mixture sets properly (and then keep in the fridge until you're ready to serve) Enjoy as a dessert or with a nice cup of tea!
If I don't need to bake two milk tarts, I will halve the filling ingredients, but still make the full amount of pastry and freeze half in a ball in a freezer bag, to use next time. Just defrost, press into your pie plate and bake.