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South African Milk Tart Recipe (Melktert)

South African Milk Tart Recipe (Melktert)

Milk Tart, or Melktert, is a beloved South African dessert that combines a sweet pastry crust with a creamy, cinnamon-infused milk filling. This authentic recipe captures the essence of this classic treat, providing a taste of South African culinary heritage.


For the Crust:

  • 200g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg

For the Filling:

  • 500ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients and rub the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg to the mixture and combine until a dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough briefly on a floured surface, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface and line a greased tart pan with it, ensuring an even thickness.
  7. Prick the base with a fork and blind bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  8. Allow the crust to cool while you prepare the filling.
  9. In a saucepan, heat the milk with the cinnamon stick until just below boiling point. Remove the cinnamon stick and set aside.
  10. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until well combined.
  11. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  12. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens.
  13. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  14. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  15. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours, or until set.
  16. Dust the chilled milk tart with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon before serving.

This authentic South African Milk Tart is a delightful combination of textures and flavours, embodying the warm, comforting essence of traditional South African cuisine. Enjoy a slice of this classic dessert as a sweet conclusion to any meal or as a treat to share with friends and family. Visit our shop for inspiration for your next South African baking or cooking recipe!


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