Dairy Recipe - Milk Tart from South Africa

Posted on: June 26, 2017

This easy-to-prepare delight is omnipresent in South Africa. You will find it in family gatherings, company feasts, school-bazaars and of course in any bakery. Although it stems from the Dutch settlers who came to the Cape in the 17th century, nowadays all nations claim it as a true South African treat. Its sweet pastry crust filled with mild and creamy custard is divine! Every single housewife has her own secret recipe. This is one of them:




  • 280 g flour
  • 220 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs  sugar
  • Baking powder
  • 2 tbs cold water


  • Dice the butter into small pieces.
  • Add the sugar, water and the well-beaten egg.
  • Spread the flour and baking powder over the mixture and gently mix by using your fingertips only.
  • Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
  • Distribute the dough in a buttered pie dish (you can use a one-way pie tin) and arrange its edge nicely.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400o F.

Bake until the edge browns slightly, i.e. for approx. ten minutes.



  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 l full cream milk
  • 120 g flour
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla essence or vanilla sugar
  • A stick of cinnamon (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon, or alternatively coconut grates


  • Crumble the butter, sugar, flour and salt together with your fingertips.
  • Place the milk in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Avoid burning! Infusing the milk with a cinnamon stick will give it an extra twist.
  • Dial down the heat to very low, and carefully add the crumbs little by little, while stirring with a whisk until the cream becomes smooth. Let simmer for five minutes.
  • Remove from the stove and let the mix cool for a few minutes.  
  • Now blend the beaten eggs with the mixture and stir gently, but well.
  • Subsequently add the vanilla essence or sugar and let and the filling cool to lukewarm.
  • Spread it over the crust, and put the combination back into the oven for five minutes.
  • Let the milk tart cool.
  • Dust with the cinnamon or coconut immediately before serving.


Take a big breath and enjoy the moment. Mission accomplished!


'Thank you' to György Polgár, Head of Animal Health in Southern Africa, for this traditional recipe.


June 26, 2017