Good ol’ melktert; the Afrikaans name for ‘milk tart’; the classic, South African dessert consisting of a sweet pastry crust, filled with a mild, creamy custard of milk, flour, sugar and eggs, baked in a round pie tin and dusted with cinnamon after baking.
Milk tart is omnipresent in South Africa; it appears at every church bazaar, bake sale, home industry, supermarket, or bakery, and has surely featured on every South African food blogger’s blog.
Melktert stems from the Dutch settlers in the Cape in the 1600s.
Traditionally, the crust consisted of short-crust pastry. These days, many use ready-made puff pastry dough instead. Ancestors would turn in their graves hearing that crustless melktart has become a thing.
The large proportion of milk in the filling is evidence that melktert was introduced to us by the Dutch dairy farmers who settled the Cape of Good Hope in the middle of the century.
Cinnamon, introduced to us by Javanese slaves, is often sprinkled over the surface.
If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to South Africa.
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