Recipe of the Week: A.V.’s South African Melktert

Reader A.V. kindly sent us one of her favorite dessert recipes for a delicious South African Melktert (Milk Tart). It makes 8 servings.  This recipe is broken into two sections: one for the filling, and one for the pastry crust.  This recipe requires the use of a set of ceramic pie weights.

Melktert Filling:

  • 1 quart milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 large eggs (or 3 small eggs)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Directions for Making the Melktert Filling

  1. In a heat proof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, flour and vanilla. Set this aside.
  2. In a medium size saucepan, heat the milk and butter at a medium setting. Do not bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add about a fourth of the milk to the egg mixture, whisking it to incorporate it evenly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remainder of the milk. Return to heat and stir constantly until it thickens. Do not boil the filling!
  4. Pour the filling into the pastry shell and let cool completely. Refrigerate until served. Sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.

Melktert Pastry (Shell)

  • 6 ounces of softened butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of almond extract

Directions for Making the Melktert Pastry

  1. Cream the butter and add the sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour and salt. Knead dough until soft. Chill for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Roll out the dough to standard pie thickness onto a lightly-floured surface and layer it into a greased pie dish. Trim the excess. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and fill up the void with ceramic pie weights. Bake it blind (pre-bake it without any filling) at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack before filling.