How to Make the Perfect South African Melk Tert

Milk-Tart

Milk-Tart

The melk tert recipe, originally published on SAPromo, was passed on by a woman who had won prizes for it.

For the uninitiated, melk tert – or milk tart – is a traditional South African recipe that’s super easy to make. This recipe’s secret is using almond essence instead of vanilla essence to add an extra flavour. Interestingly, this version also doesn’t “blind bake” the crust. See, we told you it was simple.

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Ingredients: 

Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 250g butter (must not be soft)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp’s water
  • 2 tsp’s baking powder

Method:

Preheat the oven to  200ºC ~ 392ºF

  1. Slice the butter in thin slices.
  2. Add the sugar and ice water and well beaten egg to the butter.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and very gently mix the mixture by working it with your finger tips.
  4. Place the dough in the fridge for 20/30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out about 4.5mm thick and place in oven proof dish that will take 1 liter filling, or two oven proof tart dishes.   Make sure it is evenly spread if you do not want to roll out the dough, press it firmly in dish evenly, it works just as well, then prick with a fork to ensure it will cook right through.

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 liter milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence or almond essence
  • cinnamon sugar or roasted coconut.

Method:

  1. Rub the butter, salt, sugar and flour together with your finger tips until crumbed.
  2. Place the milk in a saucepan and bring the milk to boil, reduce the heat to a very low setting. Very slowly add to the boiled milk the crumbs little by little stirring with a egg whisk. (I find the whisk works the best.) Be careful not to burn the milk or to work to quickly with the crumbs as it can form lumps.
  3. Remove from the hot plate. To the 3 beaten eggs add a little of the hot milk mixture to warm it up, mix, now add the beaten eggs to the warm milk custard and mix well.
  4. When cooled and add 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence. Mix well again.
  5. Place the mixture in the prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. When cooled sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or coconut.

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