This recipe takes me back to my childhood. South Africans would know the name of this dish as Melk tert and not surprisingly the English translation is Milk Tart. There are some British versions of this dish (I’m not sure who borrowed the recipe from whom) and the classic Northern Custard Tart is the closest.
This recipe was given to me by Vernon, a young South African lad. I was particularly taken by the way that he wrote the recipe; he named it My Mother’s Melk Tert. He was so proud to share this recipe with me and I feel equally privileged to share it with you. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
- 500ml full fat milk
- 40g unsalted butter
- 100g unrefined caster sugar
- 25g plain all purpose flour
- 20g corn flour
- 2 free range eggs yolk with white separated
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla pod seeds scraped or 5ml good quality vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon to taste
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 8 inch baking dish or pastry ring with either rough puff pastry or sweet short crust pastry. Traditionally in South Africa they use an enamel plate and rough puff pastry. Blind bake the pastry until cooked and set aside.
For the filling, pour 400ml of milk with the butter and seeds of the vanilla pod in to a medium saucepan; bring to the boil over medium heat. While the milk is coming to the boil mix 50g of the sugar, flour, corn flour, 2 egg yolks and 100ml of milk to a thick smooth paste.
Place the egg whites in a clean grease-free mixing bowl and whisk with 50g of the sugar to a meringue with soft peaks, set aside. Once the milk is boiling, reduce the heat, pour half of the boiling milk over the egg mixture while whisking and pour the hot eggy mix back in to the milk pan. Return to the heat and bring back to the boil, once the mixture is boiling reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the crème patisserie for 4 minutes; stir all the time to prevent the mixture from sticking.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool the crème patisserie for 5 minutes before gently folding the meringue in to the mixture. Pour the mixture in to the blind baked pastry dish, generously dust with ground cinnamon. Place the dish on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The filling will slightly soufflé but it will settle once cooled.
Makes one 8 inch size tart, six servings.