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South African Milktarts, a Custard Tart by another name.

December 5, 2011

A Milktart (Melktert in Afrikaans) is a South African speciality. Afrikaner ladies have been making these ever since the Dutch landed in the Cape in the mid 1600. A crumbly sweetcrust pastry holds a delicious creamy centre made from milk, sugar, eggs and a little flour. Cinnamon is sprinkled on top as a finishing touch. For me there is no better combination than this. Sadly I missed My Custard Pie’s Monthly Mingle with Custard. This recipe would have been perfect. I do have an excuse however, I was up to my elbows making 300 of these little lovelies for our school’s annual International Day. Naturally these went down a storm. Children are a strange bunch I have to say. Even the older kids that had never eaten one, were quite resistant to try something they had never eaten before. I was determined that they should at least try it. Even local moms were a bit unsure at first. I am pleased to report that after the first bite, each and every man, woman and child had the same reaction. They would take a bite. Then slowly close their eyes and ALL of them would go “hmmmm”. There was no going back after that. Everyone loved Milktart.

We also offered another typical South African dish that was hugely popular, especially with men and growing teenagers. Boerewors Rolls. This is basically a hotdog. Only much better. So much better that once you’ve had a real boerewors roll you will never, ever, eat another hotdog again. No kidding. I talked at length about Boerewors in my tribute post to the Annual South African braai day. Boerewors is typical South African sausage. The meat inside is crumbly and seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. A length of the cooked Boerewors is placed into a breadroll and smothered with a homemade tomato relish. The relish is made by gently simmering tomatoes, either fresh or canned, onions and peppers. This is then slowly cooked down into a thick, slightly chunky sauce which you drizzle generously onto the boerwors sausage in the roll. It is the best “junkfood” ever.

Back to the Milktarts. These are not an option if you are intolerant to gluten, eggs or dairy. A huge disappointment for my son. However, I have promised to invent a Milktart that is allergen free. As soon as I have perfected one, you will be the first to know.

The recipe I use is from an old South African cookbook. It makes 2 medium sized tarts or 120 mini ones. I must confess that I did cheat by using store bought tart shells. You can purchase them ready baked from Park ‘n Shop in Dubai. The fact that this recipe makes two tarts must not put you off. Believe me, you will be eating one in quick succession of the other. Alternatively, invite some friends and family over and watch them marvel at your creation.

I would love to know what you think of these. Go make one and get back to me…

Milktart Recipe printable PDF version

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2011 12:58 PM

    They look absolutely gorgeous …and I want one! Any left over from your 300?! Shame you missed the mingle but these have a starring role all by themselves.

  2. December 5, 2011 9:36 PM

    As I am married to an South African, I naturally know about Boerewors rolls and that relish. Even as a woman past her teenage years, I can confirm that this is the best junk food ever 🙂 But in my wildest dreams I cannot imagine an allergen-free Milk Tart. Can’t wait what you come up with!

  3. December 12, 2011 7:41 PM

    Love the size of these mini milk tarts. They would be dangerous around me, being that they’re bite size. These will make a beautiful presentation at a holiday table! 😉

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