classic milk tart

Classic milk tart: A South African delicacy. Image: Asande Mpila.

Classic milk tart – The South African difference

Creamy and utterly indulgent, that is our very own South African milk tart.

classic milk tart

Classic milk tart: A South African delicacy. Image: Asande Mpila.

Switch on the kettle, gather everyone you know with a sweet tooth because a delicious classic milk tart is coming your way. There is just something about this traditional South African dessert that is irresistible.

No matter how many times you have had a slice of classic milk tart, it remains a winner at teatime. This recipe includes the process of blind baking the sweet pastry crust before preparing the creamy milk tart filling.

After baking this classic milk tart, you need to allow it to set in the fridge for an hour. So, a little bit more patience is required before you can dig into this old-time favourite.

To add some colour and garnish, a sliced strawberry has been placed in the centre but you can use any decoration that you feel will work well. Alternatively, just serve it as it is. It is tasty enough!

If you have tried this popular South African recipe, let us know.

Classic milk tart recipe

4 from 7 votes
Recipe by Asande Mpila Course: DessertCuisine: South AfricanDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Baking time


Cooling Time


Total time






  • Sweet pastry
  • 140 g 140 flour

  • 80 g 80 butter

  • 55 g 55 castor sugar

  • 2 2 egg yolks

  • 1 ml 1 vanilla essence

  • Filling
  • 3 3 egg yolks

  • 20 ml 20 castor sugar

  • 10 ml 10 cornflour

  • 1 litre 1 milk

  • 5 ml 5 vanilla essence

  • 25 g 25 butter

  • 10 ml 10 cake flour


  • Sweet pastry
  • Sift the flour with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre and place the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks inside the well.
  • Using your fingertips, pinch and work these last four ingredients together until well blended. Mix the flour and knead lightly until smooth.
  • Allow resting in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Brush patty pans with melted butter. Roll out the pastry large enough to cover the base and sides of the tin. Ease the pastry into the tin and trim the edges.
  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • Cut a sheet of greaseproof paper large enough to cover the pastry-lined tin. Line the tin with the baking paper and spread a layer of dried beans or rice evenly over the baking paper (blind bake).
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the baking paper and beans. Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden. Leave to cool.
  • Filling
  • Place the egg yolks, sugar, cake flour, cornflour in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until pale.
  • Heat the milk and butter in a small pot until almost boiling; remove from the heat.
  • Add the milk gradually to the egg mixture, beating constantly. Strain the mixture into the pan.
  • Stir constantly over low heat for 3 minutes with a wooden spoon or until it thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence.
  • Place the plastic wrap over the custard surface to prevent it from drying out.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Spread the custard into the cooled pastry case and refrigerate to set.


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