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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!
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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


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


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


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.


Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 198mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 534IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 1mg
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