Food Post: Milk Tart

I think I found my love for Milk Tart (Melktert as it’s originally known because it is a South African dish) from my eldest sister, Kajal. As far as I can go back in my memory I can just picture her sitting with a mini milk tart and eating it with such savour. I think that’s when I realised I loved it too. The other day we had some family friends over for a Saturday night braai (yes it’s braai, not bbq/barbie/barbeque it’s just BRAAI!) so I was in quite a pickle as to what to make for dessert. I pondered and pondered until I had a look in my recipe book for some inspiration. Then lo and behold I came across my milk tart recipe. I asked my mum what she thought about me making that and she was quite supportive as she loves it too, and hadn’t had it in ages.

Before I go on to post the recipe, here’s a little history on Melktert, I didn’t actually find a lot of information on this dessert, but here’s a little something anyway:

This delicious and simple custard dessert, literally a “Milk Tart”, is a South African staple.  Before the Suez Canal was built, all ships travelling east to the spice islands of what is now Indonesia had to sail round the tip of South Africa. The Dutch and their East India Company were a force to be reckoned with along the spice route for a large part of the 17th century, and South Africa was a convenient stopping place on the long journey from Europe to Asia. The first permanent Dutch settlement was established at the Cape of Good Hope around the middle of the century. The cinnamon used in this recipe would have been imported from Indonesia; and the milk would have come from the increasing number of Dutch farms that sprang up around the Cape to supply the Dutch ships and their scurvy-ridden crews with fresh vegetables, meat and dairy products.

Parina’s Milk Tart

Base: Ingredients

150g margarine

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder


Cream margarine and sugar. Add oil, egg, and vanilla essence. Add flour and baking powder.

Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes.

Note: When I made this the first time I put all the dough into an ovenproof baking dish, however the base was too thick. So if you have a big dish it’s better as the base will be thin, however when I made it this time I just put enough in the baking dish and discarded the rest. I know it’s wasting but I didn’t have a small enough dish for another tart. So you will just have to play around with dish sizes until you find one that suits you. Or remember you can make individual tarts as well. Whatever your personal perference.

Filling: Ingredients

5ooml milk

2 eggs

3 teaspoons margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (I add a little extra)

100ml sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour

4 teaspoons flour.


Bring margarine and milk to a boil.

Mix the rest of the ingredients into a smooth paste and add into the boiling milk.

Boil stirring continuosly until thick and then pour over base.

Dust cinnamon powder

When you make it be sure to let me know how it turns out!

Enjoy! 🙂


4 thoughts on “Food Post: Milk Tart

  1. Pari, reading this brings back great memories, my friend Kim was the one who introduced it to me. Could you please send me a tray?

    • That was nice of her! How I wish we could dhl food!! My list of food that I want to eat from Canada is ridonculously loooong! Nevertheless try it out when you get a free moment. 🙂

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