Recipe for a Milk Tart – a stunning South African classic

Ingredients
400 g puff pastry, thawed
1,25 liters (5 cups) milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 large piece of naartjie peel
125 ml sugar
125 ml cake flour
60 ml butter, cubed
6 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon almond essence
ground cinnamon for topping, finely sieved

How to
Grease your baking tin/s with non-stick spray and pre-heat oven to 200 C.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to fit your baking tin/s. Line the tin/s carefully with the pastry, trimming the edges and gently pressing the pastry into the fluted edges. Line with non-stick baking paper and fill the surface with uncooked rice or beans (for blind baking). Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the rice/beans and paper and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while making the filling.

Turn down the oven to 180 C.

In a medium pot, heat the milk, cinnamon stick and naartjie peel over medium high heat.

While the milk is heating, mix the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. When the milk is reaching a temperature where you can just stick your finger in it, pour it over the sugar and flour. Stir well with a whisk, then return it to the warm pot.

Turn down the heat to low and continue to stir until the mixture thickens (do not boil) – it will take 5-10 minutes. When it is thick, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the cubed butter and egg yolks. Add the salt and almond essence and stir until smooth and glossy.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry tin/s, sift over a thin layer of ground cinnamon, then carefully place in the oven (the mixture will be quite runny, so work carefully). Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down further to 160 C and bake for another 15 minutes (smaller tarts) – 30 minutes (large tarts), or until the centre of the tart is just tenderly cooked and still slightly wobbly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely (the tart needs time to stabilize, so don’t slice while it is still hot).

Slice and serve warm (reheated) or cold.

Recipe courtesy of The Food Fox. Visit the blog for more delicious recipes. Recipe copyright – Ilse van der Merwe. Photo copyright – Tasha Seccombe.

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