Milktart Recipe

Milktart Recipe. Image credit: Irene Muller

South African Melktert – A true favourite of the Rainbow Nation

Bring back the South African nostalgia with this amazing South African Melktert. Perfect for Sunday Lunch your your next tea party.

Milktart Recipe

Milktart Recipe. Image credit: Irene Muller

If you’re from South Africa, you definitely know one of the nation’s favourite desserts. Milk Tart or “Melktert” as it’s known in Afrikaans is a delicious vanilla-infused custard, open-top tart which brings back memories of Sunday lunch dessert with the whole family. It’s so easy to buy one but nothing tastes like homemade dessert. Get the coffee ready, its South African Melktert time.

South African Melktert is our delicious and much easier to make version of Portuguese pasteis de nata. When adding your custard mixture to the eggs, make sure to do it nice and slowly because adding warm liquid to your eggs will make them scramble. This process is called tempering your eggs. This delicious tart is the perfect way to cap-off a delicious meal any time of day. It’s got a firm crust and a beautifully set custard, topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder.

Bring back the South African nostalgia with this amazing South African Melktert. Perfect for Sunday Lunch your your next tea party.

South African Milk Tart (Melktert) Recipe

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Recipe by Irene Muller Course: DessertCuisine: South AfricanDifficulty: Easy
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Who can resist a delicious slice of traditional South African Melktert (Milk Tart)? Certainly not us.


  • Crust
  • 2 cups 2 flour

  • 250 g 250 butter (must not be soft)

  • 1 1 egg, well beaten

  • 1 tablespoon 1 sugar

  • 2 tablespoon 2 water

  • 2 teaspoon 2 baking powder

  • Filling
  • 1 tablespoon 1 butter

  • 1 pinch 1 salt

  • 1 liter 1 milk

  • 1 cup 1 flour

  • 1 cup 1 sugar

  • 3 3 eggs, beaten together

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla or almond essence

  • cinnamon sugar or roasted coconut


  • Crust
  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC
  • Slice the butter in thin slices.
  • Add the sugar, ice water and eggs to the butter.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and very gently mix the mixture by working it with your finger tips.
  • Place the dough in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out about 4.5mm thick and place in ovenproof dish that will take 1 litre of filling, or place it in two smaller ovenproof tart dishes. Make sure it is evenly spread if you do not want to roll out the dough. Press it firmly and evenly in the dish evenly, then prick with a fork to ensure it will cook right through.
  • Filling
  • Rub the butter, salt, sugar and flour together with your finger tips until crumbed.
  • Place the milk in a saucepan and bring the milk to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Very slowly add the crumbs to the hot milk, little by little, stirring with a egg whisk. Be careful not to burn the milk or to work too quickly as it can form lumps.
  • Remove from the heat. Add a little of the hot milk mixture to the 3 beaten eggs to warm it up, mix, then add the beaten eggs to the warm milk custard and mix well.
  • When cooled and add 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond essence. Mix well again.
  • Place the mixture in the prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • When cooled, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or coconut.

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