Tuesday, November 29, 2011

South African Milk Tart

If you had read my last post, you would have known that I recently started a full time job at an engineering firm. 

Scratch that.

I started a full time CAREER.

I was, at first, very excited that I no longer had to spend time completing assignments and study for exams outside of normal lecture hours. Although I have now regained my weekends, I have discovered that a 9 to 5 job doesn't leave you with very much time in the day. Add that to the Saturdays I spend teaching piano, it's not very much time at all to sit down and relax.

Cornflour + sugar + egg yolks + milk
But now it's almost Christmas and with it comes work parties, presents and lots and lots of food! And a holiday.

I really need one.

Adding the margarine and vanilla essense
For some reason, my family has been elected to have all the "get togethers" for family and friends this year and, because of all our busy timetables, we have turned to easy (but very yummy) recipes that can easily be prepared ahead of time so we're not in such a rush on the day! Luckily, we've been blessed with friends who have such recipes in their arsenal and are willing to share.

The South African Milk Tart was introduced to us by my mother's former work colleague and is different to most others that I have come across as the filling does not need to be baked but cooked over the stove and refrigerated. The creamy filling tastes like the food of angels (honestly!) and is not overly sweet. It also differs to the traditional "Melktert" in that it imparts a subtle coconut flavour thanks to this secret ingredient:

The packet tells me that Tennis biscuits are South Africa's favourite and I can certainly see why. Light and crunchy with a splash of syrup and coconut, these are the perfect base for the tart. The no-nonsense square shape also makes a square/rectangular pan perfect for laying the base -unfortunately I don't own one, so I spend ages breaking off little bits to cover the bottom..

Go on. Try this recipe. 

Glynnis' South African Milk Tart

3 cups milk
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon of margarine
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 packet of Tennis biscuits (available in your international food aisle. I have also been told that Arnotts "Nice" biscuits work too)
5 heaped Tablespoons of cornflour
1 teaspoon of salt

1. Separate egg yolk and whites into two separate bowls
2. Mix cornflour, sugar and egg yolks together to form a paste. Add extra milk if needed (don't worry, this won't throw off any ratio)
3. Boil milk and add the above mixture. Whisk until a custard-like consistency
4. Turn heat to low and cook again for about 10 minutes
5. Take the mixture off the stove. Add margarine and vanilla essence and fold through the mixture
6. In your other bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and fold carefully into the mixture
7. Cover the bottom of your tart dish with biscuits -don't worry about being neat and tidy
8. Pour mixture over the biscuits and spread evenly
9. Let it cool and cover with glad wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
10. Sprinkle cinnamon or grated chocolate over the top before serving.


  1. This looks delicious! I haven't tried many South African cakes-I did make a malva pudding once and that was very nice. So I might give this a go! :)

  2. Welcome to the world of the grown up :-). Congratulation on your career, and teaching piano too! And well done on posting this recipe, it looks yum!


  3. Haha, food of angels. It does look moreishly good though, sort of like a custard tart.

  4. wow...sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    first time here..lovely space you have...
    excellent recipe collection with great cliks..
    love your presentation..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    Do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  5. This looks lovely - my kind of dessert (no chocolate in sight!)
    It's got that custard tart'ish appeal.

  6. It's great to have some yummy make ahead recipes for busy times, and this looks so good! Yumm...

  7. Dear Lucy

    I have not had a South African cake or tart before but this one looks quite enticing! Congrats on your new career and hope everything works out well for you.

  8. Congrats on the new job! There are definitely pluses and minuses to working 9-5 v. being a student. Sigh. Grass is always greener.

    This tart looks amazing! Perfect for the holiday season!

  9. Congrats on your new job! It is definitely a busy but fun time of the year.

    The tart looks and sounds delicious! Have a great weekend!

  10. This tart looks like a great way to celebrate the season. The filling looks delicious!

  11. Whoa, this sounds and looks too delicious! Btw, congratulations, ahhhh! It must be such a huge and kind of a hard change to go into full time work. But you can do it, Lucy! :D

  12. Your milk tart looks lovely, something very different too. Will definitely give this a try :)