milk memories from childhood

I have wonderful memories of eating this sweetly spiced, biscuity, wobbly treat as a child on my grandmothers farm.  It takes me back to the High Veld heat, the dappled shade of the wisteria in the courtyard, the plink clinking of the ceramic wood chimes in the breeze of the rain window, and the feel of cool polished slate floors on my bare feet.  Treasured memories of her wonderful home and the magical holidays and spent with her.
A milk tart is much like an Australian vanilla slice, an egg custard pie that should be set firm but still have a wobble in the center.  But for me the vanilla slice can never compete with cinnamon flavoured milk tart.  Milk tart is a very traditional South African dessert and every family has its own favourite version of the recipe.  But none of the recipes I tried have lived up to my memories until I discovered this one by Shades of Cinnamon.  I have to admit that I cheated and bought the pastry cases, but any sweet tart pastry will probably work well.  When I have a little more time I will test out the one at Shades of Cinnamon myself and update this post.

Ingredients for milk tart filling:
  • 4½ cups milk
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ Tablespoons cornflour
  • 2½ Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large sweet pastry cases

Recipe for milk tart:
  • Pour milk into a large pot and add the cinnamon stick.
  • Bring milk to the boil slowly, make sure you don't burn the base of the pot and taint the taste.
  • Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick.
  • While milk is boiling beat the eggs, then add the flour, cornflour, sugar and salt and mix well.
  • Once the milk has boiled pour it into the egg mixture and stir well.
  • Pour mixture back into the pot and return to a low heat, stirring continuously until the custard thickens.  You will know its thick enough when you can feel it pulling against your whisk and 
  • Add the butter and vanilla and mix well.
  • Pour into the pastry cases and chill in the fridge until set.  It should be firm but wobble slightly in the center.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.  Milk tart is best served chilled straight from the fridge.

This recipe filled two medium pastry cases and 6 muffin size ones, its a lot of custard!  
I thought I had made far to much but it was all gone by the second day!

I am planning to make it again these school holidays, perhaps even teach Miss E, and I hope you get to enjoy some soon too.   The blog may be slow the next few weeks as I spend time with my family, but I will be back in a few weeks with some amazing projects that we are busy completing.


  1. Oh, my God, I love, love, love melktert!!!! I'd save my granny into slavery for such delights. A delicious, yummy, warm slice of childhood, right there.


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