Tag Archives: melktert

milk tart and how to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry

milk tart and how to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry

SONY DSCMy Irish husband decided the other day to compile his very own bucket list. On the list was … to swim in seven of the great oceans of the world; visit the Antarctic, take a motorbike trip through Africa – and yes, jump out of a plane. But bless his Irish soul, he also wants to take me to see the cherry blossoms in Japan and renew our wedding vows in the gardens of the Taj Mahal.

Then there was #16: To master the techniques of the world’s 50 most classic recipes…

Bouef bourguignon, coq a vin, crème anglaise, gratin dauphinous, puff pastry are on the list. As well as traditional South African favourite classics like melktert, koeksisters, bobotie and waterblommetjiebredie.

Melktert and puff pastry
Of course he is always too proud to ask for advice when it comes to his kitchen adventures, but I had to climb in boots and all when he announced he was going to make melktert and puff pastry … both from scratch! Let’s face it, to make your own puff pastry is no walk in the park and I always use bought pastry. But headstrong Rick would have nothing of this packet stuff… but I had a plan.

Rick very proud of his first milk tart

Rick very proud of his first milk tart

How to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry
I phoned Theresa de Vries of Kokkedoor and shared with me her recipe to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry. You take the bought pastry, open it up and grate 125g cold butter on top of the dough. You close the pastry by folding it from top to bottom and from side to side and roll it out. Then roll it out a second time. Perfect pastry for a milk tart.

Rick made Theresa’s milk tart filling as well. Some hours later with my nerves almost shattered, my Irishman did a sterling job and served up his first milk tart.

(Recipe: Theresa de Vries)

1 pack puff pastry
125 g ice cold butter, grated
For baking: 1 egg, separated and egg yellow whisked

500ml milk
1 cinnamon stick
10ml butter
2 eggs, separated
15ml flour
15ml corn starch
60ml sugar
1ml almond essence
5ml vanilla essence
1 ml salt

Pastry: Fold the dough open. Spread the grated butter over the dough. Fold in half from the bottom then fold from the top. Fold the left side towards the middle then fold the right half towards the middle. Push the dough down lightly with the rolling pin and roll out. Fold up, cover with cling wrap and put in fridge for an half an hour. Roll out for your tart.

Filling: Place 250 ml milk, cinnamon, salt and half the sugar and butter in a thick bottom saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix the remaining sugar, corn starch, flour, egg yolks and vanilla essence with the remaining 250 ml of milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Remove the milk from the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks. With a hand whisk beat the flour mixture quickly into the milk mixture until blended. Return to the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.

Bake: Place the dough in your baking tin. Brush the bottom of the dough with egg white and pour in the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with egg yolk. Bake at 200°C for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar on top and serve.

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

Milk tart – they say that time changes everything, and everything changes with time…but does it? I think time is like a merry-go-round … it is only your view of things that changes, not the merry-go-round … … the “melk tert” never changed.

I grew up with “melk tert” with almond essence, puff pastry and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It brings back many fond and happy memories. A kaleidoscope of “Kerk bazaars” (chruch fete’s) and of course the “koek en tee na kerk op Sondae” at our home (cake and tea after church on Sunday).

Watch me make this by clicking here.

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-round

The most lingering memory of the milk tart for me was custard inside the tart shell. This recipe is one of those versatile recipes that gives you the freedom to decide how you want to use it…either in a traditional puff pastry shell, or one where you create your own biscuit base or what I did … I thought I would update this age old classic without trying to change its history or heritage so I served it in my Mom’s tea cup and I added a few a Ameretti biscuits allowing the memories of the past to dwell in the sweetness of the present. I have

My mom and I made it just the way that we remembered….I went to visit her the other day and we milled about in the kitchen, talking and laughing about those times when we were much younger … the many different stories of how to make milk tart and how to bring the best tart to the bazaar, we talked about family, we giggled like young girls as the milk boiled over and the maizina mix splattered all over the kitchen counter, we counted how many “melk terte” we had made together over the years and then we counted the blessing we have been able to share – then and now. For just a few hours I was again on that merry-go-round … me, my mom, the milk tart and a heap of happy memories….

Dankie Ma. Lief vir jou.


milk tart + tea cups
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 4 Cups of full cream milk
  • 150 g Sugar
  • ½ t Salt
  • 4 Large eggs separated
  • 90g Maizina powder mixed with some of the milk (mix through until it has that thick cream consistency)
  • ¾ t Almond essence
  • 3T Butter (not margarine)
  • Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
  • 50ml Sugar
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • Amaretti biscuits
  1. Mix the milk, sugar and salt in pot and bring to boil.
  2. In the meanwhile beat the egg yolks slowly adding the Maizina.
  3. Pour this mixture very slowly in the milk mix - I use a hand egg-beater to mix it in - to avoid lumps
  4. Cook for 5 minutes till cooked.
  5. Add the almond essence and the butter. Stir well.
  6. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly fold this in the custard.
  7. Please always taste again for seasoning.
  8. Pour in cups, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with amaretti biscuits.