Heritage Day, on the 24th of September, is a widely celebrated public holiday in South Africa.
South Africa is a “Rainbow Nation” and our country consists of many different people with very diverse cultural backgrounds. Heritage Day is celebrated in order for us to remember our cultural heritage and our uniqueness, while still living together in one country, a Rainbow Nation.
In preparation for Heritage Day, I introduce to you a dessert that is deep seated in our South African heritage – Melktert. Melktert originated from the Dutch settlers who arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, in the 1600s.
Melktert is Afrikaans for milk tart and is a dessert which has a sweet pastry crust and a creamy custard filling made from eggs, flour, milk and sugar. 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. Cinnamon is generally sprinkled on top, and some recipes use cinnamon infused milk in the custard.
Milk tart is a South African favourite for tea, birthday parties or just after dinner dessert. It is generally served in slices of a greater pie but can be made into smaller individual pies and even bite-size tartlets. Every home industry, school cake sale, Church fete or funeral in South Africa will inevitably have milk tart available. Every family will have a recipe (although many of the recipes will differ in their own special way!). Milk tart is served best with a cup of Five Roses Tea. The recipe I am sharing with you is one from a very special family friend. Enjoy!
Claire is a South African with a love of cooking and an interest in cuisine from around the world. She is an avid food blogger. You can find her at Cook The World.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ egg
- 2¼ cups milk
- 1¼ tablespoon flour
- 1¾ tablespoon butter
- 1¼ tablespoon cornflour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1½ eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg.
Add dry ingredients and mix well to form a smooth dough.
- Press into greased pie plate.
- Bake at 350F/180C for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.
- Boil milk, sugar and butter.
- Beat eggs with dry ingredients.
- Pour hot mixture over cold and mix well. Add vanilla essence.
- Allow to thicken on the stove.
- Pour filling into pastry-lined pie dish. Allow to cool and then sprinkle with cinnamon.