Melktert | South African Custard Tart

Melktert
Jump to Recipe

Silky smooth and creamy, our version of Melktert is made with custard spiced with nutmeg and cardamom. Topped with a good amount of cinnamon, this South African favourite, is a wonderfully rich custard tart that can be made with everyday ingredients you will find in your cupboards! We made our own shortcrust pastry, but if you wish you can simply use shop-bought shortcrust or puff pastry, or even a pre-baked tart case. The star of this South African inspired Melktert is its spiced custard filling!


I will admit to never liking a traditional British Egg Custard Tart. But I will also say that I’ve only tasted the ones from supermarkets and never had anything remotely home-made with love. So I was going through my baking journey without ever even attempting to make any custard-based tarts on the basis that I simply don’t like them.

Did things change when we went to Portugal 5 years ago and I had my very first Pastel de Nata!? Two years later my love for egg custard tarts was confirmed by a Chinese-style Custard Tarts we had in Hong Kong. And finally, the newest addition to the tart family – South African Melktert. The latter is the closest to the traditional British tart but hundreds of times better than the shop-bought version.

Buttery shortcrust pastry, sweet cardamom and nutmeg spiced custard and a layer of earthy and aromatic cinnamon. What’s not to like? The version of Melktert I make only requires to bake pastry tart, custard itself is poured into the tart case and is left to set without baking it first. The custard mixture is similar to French Creme Mousseline and is enriched with butter that helps the custard set when chilled.

The only tips I’d give you is to be patient and wait for the custard to thicken quite a bit before beating in the butter. Secondly, chill the Melktert for at least 4 hours before you safely cut into it. But I would strongly recommend leaving it to set overnight. The pictures of the Melktert in this post show a wonderfully creamy texture after 4 hours of chilling. It is lovely, but you may not get a very clean cut if you aren’t patient enough.

How to Make South African Inspired Melktert?

To make this tart you will need a loose bottom 20cm (8in) tart tin, like the one here.

To Make the Pastry:

Place flour in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the icing sugar. Then add the egg yolk and mix. If the pastry feels too dry to form a dough, add 1 tbsp water. Shape into a ball, flatten, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

If you have a food processor, you can make the pastry by pulsing the flour, icing sugar and butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Then adding the egg yolk and pulsing again until clumps of dough start to form. Finally, tip the mixture out onto the surface to bring it together into a ball.

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Roll out the pastry into a circle that’s approx. 5cm larger than the tart tin, to about 3mm thickness.

Lift the pastry over the tart tin. Push the pastry into the corners gently. Leave the pastry overhanging the sides of the tin (they may fall off during cooking, so I’d suggest placing a tray underneath to catch them). Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork. Place a large sheet of baking parchment on top of the pastry and fill it with ceramic baking beans.

Bake the tart case for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment and cook for another 5 minutes. Cool completely before adding the filling.

To Make the Filling:

Heat the milk, double cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom in a pan over medium heat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornflour and salt. Once the milk mixture is hot (but not boiling), vigorously whisk the milk into the egg yolk mixture (if you’re too slow, the egg may scramble).

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook until thick and smooth, whisking continuously. Cook the custard until thick and smooth. It should be so thick that it would be reluctant to drop off the spoon.

Take the mixture off the heat and beat in the butter.

Pour the custard into the tart case. Lightly brush a piece of baking parchment with odourless oil (like rapeseed, sunflower or vegetable oil), then press onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin from forming.

Place the melktert in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

Just before serving, dust the cinnamon over the custard. Slice and serve. Keep the leftovers in the fridge!

Melktert

If you liked this South African Melktert, we think we can tempt you with other recipes of ours, including:

Melktert

Melktert | South African Custard Tart

Silky smooth and creamy, our version of Melktert is made with custard spiced with nutmeg and cardamom. Topped with a good amount of cinnamon, this South African favourite, is a wonderfully rich custard tart that can be made with everyday ingredients you will find in your cupboards! We made our own shortcrust pastry, but if you wish you can simply use shop-bought shortcrust or puff pastry, or even a pre-baked tart case. The star of this South African inspired Melktert is its spiced custard filling!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chilling Time: 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine South African
Servings 8 portions
Calories 327 kcal

Equipment

  • 20cm (8in) Tart Tin
  • Ceramic Baking Beans

Ingredients
 
 

For Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter unsalted
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk medium
  • 1-2 tbsp water

For The Filling:

  • 470 ml milk
  • 120 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cardamom pods seeds crushed to a powder
  • 5 egg yolks medium
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 25 g cornflour
  • 15 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 30 g butter unsalted

For the Topping:

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

To Make the Pastry:

  • Place flour in a lare mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the icing sugar. Then add the egg yolk and mix. If the pastry feels too dry to form a dough, add 1 tbsp water. Shape into a ball, flatten, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Roll out the pastry into a circle 5 cm larger than the tart tin, to about 3mm thickness.
  • Lift the pastry over the tart tin. Push the pastry into the corners gently. Leave the pastry overhanging around the sides of the tin. Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork.
  • Place a large sheet of baking parchment inside your pastry and fill with ceramic baking beans.
  • Bake the tart case for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment and cook for another 5 minutes.

To Make the Filling:

  • Heat the milk, double cream, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornflour and salt. Once the milk mixture is hot (but not boiling), vigorously whisk in the milk into the egg yolk mixture (if you're too slow, the egg may scramble).
  • Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook until thick and smooth, whisking continuously. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Cook the custard for 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth.
  • Take the mixture off the beat and beat in the butter.
  • Pour the custard into the tart case. Lightly brush a piece of baking parchment with oil, then press onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin from forming.
  • Place the melktert in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
  • Just before serving, dust the cinnamon over the custard. Slice and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 198mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 534IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Melktert, Melktert recipe, Melktert Recipe UK, Milk Tart, Milk Tart Recipe, Milk Tart Recipe UK, No Bake Custard Tart, South African Custard Tart, South African Custard Tart Recipe, South African Desserts, South African Melktert, South African Melktert recipe, South African Milk Tart, South African Milk Tart Recipe, South African Unbaked Custard Tart, Unbaked Custard Tart
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




Somebody Feed Seb