Milk tart

Today (27 February 2019) is National Milk tart day in South Africa! This must be one of our best kept heritage foods and most of us has memories of having this tart when growing up. As it is a custard base tart, most other countries also share similar versions. For us as South Africans, it will always be specific to what our grannies would have made. Unique to our families, each will have it’s own crust but always served with cinnamon on top.

Here is a video we made of our Shortcrust pastry. Keep it safe, as I will definitely be referring to it in the future!

The milk tart and shortcrust pastry recipe are below as well as on the video. You may always substitute the crust with ready-to-roll puff pastry.

Remember to pre-bake the crust before adding the filling or the base might go “soggy”.

Credit: Video Production by: ATA Studios, Cape Town

I’ve made separate small ones with puff pastry cases!

I’ve made separate small ones with puff pastry cases!


300g Plain Cake flour
1 & 1/4 tsp Salt
200g Cold Butter, chopped
100g Caster Sugar
1 egg yolk, optional

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
2. Put the flour and salt in a mound on your work surface and make a well in the middle. 
3. Place the butter in die well and mix the butter into the flour by rubbing your hands together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Shape the mixture into a mound again and make a well in the center. 
5. Add the sugar and egg yolk. Use your fingertips and the heel of your hand to incorporate them into the flour without kneading the dough.
6. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for around two hours. 
7. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. 
8. Cut the dough, place in a tartan and bake in a preheated oven before adding a filling (blind bake). 
9. To blind bake, place the dough in the pan, cut bigger than the pan as it will shrink in the oven. Place a sheet of tinfoil on top. Pour rice/baking beans into it and bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and the base is golden brown.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


500ml Full cream milk

2 Large eggs, separated into whites and yolk.

100g Sugar

26g Flour

40g Corn Flour

2g Salt

30g Butter

5ml Vanilla Essence

10g Cinnamon

500g Shortcrust pastry


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.

2. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface. Cut a circle to fit onto a 15 - 20cm round pan. Always cut the circle bigger as it will shrink in the oven. Place in the fridge to cool until needed.

3 Blind-bake the pastry till dry and with minimum colour (as it will be baked the second time with the filling) - see instructions on the recipe above.

4.Heat the milk in a saucepan onto medium heat, be careful not to boil.

5.In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until creamy and light.

6. Sift the flours and salt onto the egg mixture. Stir well until thick.

7. Add the warm milk to the egg mixture by gently adding it in a thin stream, whisk well. Return the mixture to the stove, stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes thick.

8. Bring to the boil and whisk constantly until thickened.

9. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

10. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form and fold into the custard.

11. Pour onto the chilled pastry case and sprinkle with cinnamon.

12. Bake for about 20 minutes until firm to touch. To serve, sprinkle cinnamon over the tart.

Mini Milk tarts

Mini Milk tarts