This milk tart is simply to die for

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

The other day my pregnant self woke up yearning for a nice, creamy slice of milk tart. So I

logged on to to the Internet, put on my apron, assembled the ingredients and popped the dessert into the oven.

After about half an hour I tucked into a mouth-watering milk tart. It is very easy to make. Preparation takes about 30 minutes and cooking time is about an hour.

Milk tart or melktert is a classic South African dessert that shows up at every social event and party where people are asked to bring a sweet dish.

The recipe for this lightly spiced dessert comes from South Africa, but shows distinct Dutch influences, both in the ingredients and the name.

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup white sugar

3 egg yolks

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups milk

3 egg white

1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Coat a 23cm pie dish with a little butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Sift in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and stir until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and milk.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour into the prepared pie plate and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 165 degrees C. Continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the centre is set when you gently jiggle the pie. Serve hot or cold with a dollop of cream.

History of milk tart

Before the Suez Canal was built all ships travelling east to the spice islands of what is today Indonesia had to sail round the southern tip of Africa.

The Dutch and their East India Company were a force to be reckoned with along the spice route for a large part of the 17th century, and South Africa was a convenient stopping place on the long journey from Europe to Asia.

The first permanent Dutch settlement was established at the Cape of Good Hope around the middle of the century. The cinnamon used in this recipe would have been imported from Indonesia.

The milk would have come from the increasing number of Dutch farms around the Cape to supply the Dutch ships and their scurvy-ridden crews with fresh vegetables, meat and dairy products. -