Enkosi Cookathon: Milk Tart

Milk Tart or ‘melk tert’ is about as South African as proteas, blue cranes, biltong and long road trips. It’s a dish that simply can’t be missed off a gourmet tour of South Africa with many families keeping their cherished grandmother’s milk tart recipe strictly under wraps.

Lucky for us, SA food icon, Phillippa Cheifitz, shares her milk tart recipe with us here. Phillippa knows her onions when it comes to SA cuisine; she’s even written a whole book about the culinary melting pot that is our vast and beautiful land. Why not try her milk tart recipe and be part of the Enkosi Cookathon? Entries close at midnight 23 October. Download printable version of this recipe.
Ingredients for the pastry:
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cream of tartar
250g cold butter
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp cold water

1. Sift the flour, salt and cream of tartar together. Grate in the butter. Mix to form a stiff dough with the egg yolk and water.
2. Roll out your pastry between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper. Roll into a rectangular shape. Fold into three and repeat twice. Allow to rest covered, in the fridge for about half an hour.
3. Roll out your pastry to fit a tart dish. Prick very well and bake blind at 200ºC for 10 minutes or until just set, but not browned.

Ingredients for the filling:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 cups full cream milk
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggs, separated
60g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon

1. Mix the flour with ½ cup sugar, 1 cup milk and ¾ teaspoon baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar.
3. Again, in a separate bowl, add the remaining baking powder to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff.
4. Pour the remaining 3 cups of milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour mixture. Return to the hob and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture. Cook, stirring continuously, just until it comes to the boil.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
7. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
8. Pour into the prepared tart dish and bake at 250ºC for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Feeling inspired Mzanzi-style? Check out the other six recipes in the Enkosi Cookathon collection and get involved.