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True South African Milk Tart. (Melktert)

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Origin: Melktert (Milk Tart in Afrikaans) is a  delicate creamy custard tart that is traditioanlly an Afrikaans recipe that has distinctive Dutch influences.

This recipe is one I have had for years! In fact it is one of those that I had scribbled in ‘my first’ recipe book – the dog-eared well splattered one.The only difference is the pastry for today I have used Matt Moran’s short crust pastry (click here for recipe )  as I had half the amount remaining from the Frangipani Tart I made last week. It has been frozen and took about 2 hours to defrost. Am expecting a few friends for tea in the next day or two and thought I would ‘rustle up’ something home baked. (I think Matt is absolutely great by the way and when I watched this clip of his meltdown on Australian Masterchef I nearly had a heart attack – until I saw the end bit – Whew!)

If you make the pastry in advance – divide into two and freeze, it is a recipe you can do at the last minute if you are expecting guests. The filling takes about 20 – 30 minutes to prepare and then it sits in the oven for another 20 -25 minutes.

I love the crisp biscuit crust and the light fluffy inside which definitely has a milk custard flavor rather than a floury stick to the room of your mouth texture that some of those horrid home industry ones have.

I like to make the pastry rough and artistically uneven, so that my guests know I have actually baked it and  that it was not bought from the H.I down the road!

Milk Tart. (8 slices)

500ml full cream ‘farm’ milk (yeh right….for some but not us townies!)

2 whole nutmegs

2 sticks cinnamon

3 large eggs separated

100 ml castor sugar

3 tablespoons cake flour

1 tablespoon Maizena (cornflour)

pinch salt

Homemade short crust pastry (Click here for recipe.)

Mixture of 5ml cinammon, 5 ml castor sugar, 2 ml grated nutmeg

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 oC.
  2. Gently heat the milk, whole nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. Don’t allow to boil. Turn off and allow to infuse while you prepare the rest of the tart.
  3. Roll out the pastry to approximately 3 mm thick on a lightly floured board. Line your tart tin. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. With a hand beater, beat the egg yolks, flour, and Maizena.
  5. Strain the warm milk and put back into a clean saucepan. Gently heat the milk. Add the thick flour mixture, mixing very well to ensure there are no lumps.
  6. Continue to heat gently – not allowing to boil, until the egg mixture has thickened into a lovely creamy custard.
  7. Allow to cool slightly while you beat your egg whites with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form.
  8. Now fold in the egg whites and add the custard mixture to your cooled tart shell.
  9. Mix 5ml of powdered cinnamon, 5 ml castor sugar and some grated fresh nutmeg over the top of the tart.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until set and golden brown.
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