Sunday, 24 February 2013

Linda's milk tart

After two perfect years living with Mama and Bumps, my Dad decided it was time for me to join him in South Africa. Leaving farm life and saying goodbye to my grandparents was a time of intense sorrow for me. Months passed in between my visits to them, but this was eased with their annual trip to South Africa.

They'd pack up the grey Opel  with the red leather seats, and tootle 1 700 kms from Salisbury to Johannesburg.  Mama would do most of the driving - not necessarily because of Bumps' prosthetic leg - more likely because she preferred to be behind the wheel and in charge!

It was during one of these trips, that Mama came to know our neighbour - Linda.  Linda was Afrikaans and spoke little English.  Mama of course only ever spoke the Queen's language - so how they communicated was interesting to say the least!

Linda made the most divine milk tart - or melk tert as it's known in South Africa.  Mama loved the dessert and asked Linda for the recipe.  But due to the language barrier - and no-one in my family really understanding Afrikaans, the only way the recipe exchange took place is by Linda making the tart and Mama watching and taking notes. 

Here's a photo of her hand written recipe, taken from the recipe book she left me.

The delicious creamy tart, with a cinnamon dust topping is sublime either warm or cold. You wont find a SAffer (South African) who does not know the traditional melk tert.

Here is Linda's recipe... YUM


2 dessert spoons melted butter
1 cup sugar (I use brown sugar for the gorgeous caramel flavour)
3 eggs separated
1 cup flour
1 level t-spoon baking powder
1 t-spoon vanilla essence
4 cups full fat milk (I substitute 1 cup for a cup of cream)
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg for the top

How to make:

Bet egg whites until stiff.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until creamy and double in volume.  Add the melted butter.
Add the vanilla essence to the milk and sift the flour and baking powder.  Add milk and flour alternately to the egg mixture.
Fold in the egg white, pour into a greased Pyrex dish and sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over top.
Bake for 40 minutes on 180 degrees. (I bake in a bain marie)

Utterly delicious.

For something aittle different...I heat the milk and soak two rooibos tea bags in it for a delicious flavour - you can use Earl Grey tea bags if you like.

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