It’s Milk Tart Day tomorrow and what better way than to invite a couple of friends to celebrate our South African heritage with? Especially when you can couple it with a glass of Roodeberg‘s Classic Rosé 2021.
Did you know?
The traditional milk tart with its familiar sweet crust and creamy custard filling originated in the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Early Dutch recipes included almond milk, which is possibly why almond essence is still used in many recipes today. The addition of cinnamon can be attributed to early Cape Malay cooks. Over centuries, milk tart recipes have been adopted and adapted by women of diverse cultures and is ever-present at school cake sales, church bazaars and important events and celebrations, with closely guarded family recipes handed down over generations.
This recipe from Ilse van deer Merwe is one to add to your milk tart recipe collection for sure:
Makes 1 x 22cm tart
For the crust
1 ½ cups (220 g) cake flour
1/3 cup (45 g) powdered icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
125 g cold butter, cubed
1 X large egg yolk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) iced water
Spray a 22cm tart tin/dish with non-stick spray and set aside. Place the flour, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and cold water and continue to process on low speed until it just starts to come together in clumps. Turn out into the tin and press evenly into a thin layer all over (you might not need all of the pastry). Prick all over with a fork and place in the freezer. Now preheat your oven to 190°C with the rack in the centre while the dough firms up. After 20 minutes, transfer the cold tin to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool while you make the filling.
For the filling
2 cups (500 ml) full cream milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 strips lemon rind, thinly peeled (optional)
1 stick cinnamon (optional)
½ cup (125 ml) cream (or substitute with more milk)
½ cup sugar
2 X large eggs
3 tablespoons corn flour (Maizena)
2 tablespoons cake flour
5 ml vanilla extract
2 ½ ml almond essence
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for dusting
Place the milk, butter, lemon rind and cinnamon stick in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. While it is heating up, place the cream, sugar, eggs, corn flour, cake flour, vanilla and almond essence in a mixing bowl and mix well with an electric beater. When the milk mixture just starts to boil, remove the pot from the heat and remove the rind and cinnamon stick. Now pour the cream and egg mixture into the warm infused milk, stirring continuously. Place the pot back on medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture starts to thicken (2-3 minutes). Turn down the heat to very low and continue to stir until the mixture is very smooth, thick and glossy (1-2 minutes) – taking care not to let the bottom burn. Remove from the heat and pour into the baked pastry case. Smooth the top and leave to cool at room temperature. To use the stencil: place it gently on top of the cooled tart, then sift cinnamon all over to reveal the pattern. Lift the stencil and serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.
Tip: If your custard mixture seems to have thickened with some clots, use and electric beater to make it silky smooth before you pour it into the prepared base. It’s quite forgiving!