South African milk tart recipe

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

In order to appreciate this recipe, you first have to know what a milk tart is. Yes, clearly it is made with milk, but did you know it is a South African treasure - dare I say, national treasure?

Milk tart - or melk tert as it is known in Afrikaans - is a dessert which has a sweet pastry crust and a creamy custard filling. It is said to have originated from the Dutch settlers who arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, in the 1600's.

This tart is delicious and one of my kids favorites. It is so quick and easy to make. Some recipes require the custard to be baked in the crust while other recipes require the custard to be made separately and poured into the crust for serving. That's what I do - although both are extremely YUMMY. Cinnamon is generally sprinkled on top.

The way I make it at home is the way I was taught by mother. Instead of making a pastry case, I make a case a base from Tennis biscuits (coconut based biscuits and melted butter).

To make the Pesach version, instead of using


1 packet Tennis biscuits

1 stick of butter


2-1/4 cups milk

1-1/4 tablespoon corn flour

1-3/4 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup sugar

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1-1/2 eggs


Base Melth the butter.

Crush the biscuits and pour the butter into the biscuits.

Press into a pie dish lined with grease proof paper and place in the fridge to set - for at least half an hour.

Filling Put the milk and sugar into a pot to heat up. .

Mix the cornflour with the half cup of milk.

When the pot of milk starts to bubble, add the cornflour mixture and thicken.

Then pour over the biscuit base, sprinkle with cinnamon and place in the fridge to set.

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