Milk Tart

Milk tart

Milktart is yet another one of those proudly South African favourites. And boy, it sure is a favourite in this household. However, this is not a traditional recipe for milktart, this one has a bit of a twist. Instead of using sugar to sweeten the ‘custard’, I used condensed milk. It adds a lovely creaminess as well as  really great flavour that you can only get from condensed milk. And you know something is good when a very loud Afrikaans family all go completely silent while eating it. And that’s exactly what happened when I served this as dessert last week.

I made the pastry for the crust myself but you could very easily just use ready-made shortcrust pastry if you’re strapped for time. What adds to the fabulousness of this recipe is that, unlike other milk tart recipes, the filling doesn’t have to be baked. You just allow it to cook on the stove, pour it into the baked crust and refrigerate. Too easy and absolutely delicious!!

Makes 1 standard size milk tart

For the crust: (If you find that there is too much dough for your pie dish, wrap the left-over dough in clingwrap and freeze for the next time you want to make this recipe.)

70ml (5tbsn) caster sugar
70g softened butter
1 egg
250ml (1 cup) flour
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
pinch of salt

For the filling:

1 tin condensed milk
500ml milk
15ml butter/margarine
2 large eggs
50g cornflour
5ml Vanilla extract
Cinnamon for sprinkling

  • For the crust, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well before adding the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Press the dough into a pie dish and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • For the filling: Combine the condensed milk, milk and butter/margarine in a small pot/saucepan and allow to come to boiling point.
  • Beat the eggs, cornflour and vanilla together.  Whilst whisking, slowly pour 1 cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well. Add the egg mixture into the rest of the milk mixture and allow to gently thicken whilst continuously stirring to prevent lumps. It should take about 5-7 minutes for the mixture to thicken. Taste it to make sure there’s no ‘floury’ taste and texture, it should be completely smooth. The filling needs to be the consistency of thick-ish cheese sauce before pouring over the crust. If it’s not, add another 2 tsp of cornflour mixed with 1tbsn cold milk and allow to cook and thicken a bit more.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon. Refrigerate until firm and set (about 2 hours).

Milk Tart

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Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • polkadotcupcake

    what a stunner! will be trying this low-maintenance version on my husbands (loud, Afrikaans) family at the next gathering, thank you!

    • Ally_R

      Hehe my pleasure! Let me know what they thought!

  • Ingrid

    Going to make this dessert on Sunday for my German friends. Can’t wait.

    • Ally_R

      Great! Let me know how it went please!

  • Wendy @ Mint Tea

    That looks delicious, we had such a nice milk tart in South Africa, under a camel thorn tree in Thabazimbi, definitely going to give this a try!

    • Ally_R

      Hi M! :) Please do. I would love to know what you thought of it!

  • Maureen Farndell

    Dear Ally.
    Is there something wrong with the crust recipe???? I have tried to make that crust twice and each time it fills the pie dish with no space left for filling. It’s more like a cake! I even tried it with beans in the dish to keep it down……. well that was very funny as the beans baked right into the dough. My husband (senior advisor) and I had a good laugh. The dough is very sticky and not at all like a pie crust should be. Should it perhaps be 1 tsp baking powder? Would altitude play a part? I live in the S.Cape coast area. I must say that the “disaster” tasted very nice all the same. Sigh….. not prepared to make the filling till the crust is right.
    Do you have a recipe for Milk Tart that makes it’s own crust as it bakes?????? I had a friend who used to make it before she went to UK and she can’t find it now. It’s gone to the grave yard for lost recipe’s :-)
    Regards, Maureen.

    • Ally_R

      Hi Maureen.

      Firstly, you are completely right, there should only be 1tsp of baking powder, I have no idea why I put 2 tsp as the measurement. Also, I added that there might be too much dough for a standard pie dish. This happened to me, but for some or other stupid reason, I didn’t add that when I made the dough, I had to use only half of it because there was so much. So what I did is freeze the other half for the next time I make this recipe. I think halving the recipe or just using half would solve that problem. So sorry you had to do it twice! :) But very funny that you made a bean tart instead hehehehe.
      Secondly, the dough is very sticky I know. It’s not like a normal pastry that you would roll out. You should really just press it into the greased pie dish. The end result is the same flaky pastry as all other milk tart recipes have.
      Then lastly, I would LOVE to have that recipe but I don’t, so please share when you find it. It sounds very interesting.

      Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me! :)
      Hope you have a great day!

  • marie

    Hi Ally,
    Will find my receipe for crustless milk tart and will send it to you. It is quick and easy to make and it is divine.

    • Ally_R

      Please do!! :)

  • Maureen Farndell

    Thanks Ally. I now feel less like an idiot!!!!! Please post Marie’s recipe when you get it – sounds like just the answer to a hectic life-style. Found one at thanks to “TWAKMUIS” and it is a baked Melktert, but no condensed milk. Don’t think I’m allowed to re-post it so suggest you look at
    Have a great weekend.

    • Ally_R

      :) You’re not an idiot at all! :)
      I’ll have a look there! Thanx! :)

  • Annie

    Hi. I tried making this recipe over the weekend and my filling never thickened with the result it never set. Have no idea what I did wrong.

    • Ally_R

      Hi Annie.

      It could be that you used too much milk and not enough cornflour? Maybe next time, try adding another 2tsp cornflour to the mix and see if that doesn’t help?

  • Annie

    Is 2 cups milk correct?

    • Ally_R

      Yes that’s correct. Oh goodness, I wish I could come make it with you so I can see what the mixture looks like. The mixture, before being poured into the pastry shell, needs to be the consistency of shop bought custard, quite thick. So I think if you add another 2tsp of cornflour it should help.

  • Annie

    Thanks so much for getting back to me. I will let you know how it goes the next time I try to make it.

  • nelly

    My filling didn’t set either. It’s been four days and its still runny..

    • Ally_R

      Ag no Nelly! I am going to make this again over the weekend and review the recipe. And then I’ll give the measurements in grams rather than tsp/cups etc. That way I can be sure that it’s precise. With cups and tsp measurements it’s so easy for me to use more/less than other people as I use measuring cups etc. I will post what I’ve found the problems could be on Monday. I’m so incredibly sorry that this recipe isn’t working out. I’ll let you know what happens!

  • Ally_R

    Ok, I revised the recipe and have made the changes. I have to just state again, that before the filling is poured onto the crust, it has to be the consistency of thick-ish cheese/white sauce. But make sure that there is no floury taste. If it’s too runny, it won’t set completely and it has to be completely smooth. The milktart should set fine if the filling is the consistency of anything between Ultra-mel Custard and Thick White sauce.

    I’m so sorry for all the inconvenience caused by the mistakes in the recipe. I hope you guys will find the changes satisfactory.

  • http://none Nigel Bailey

    I’d like to make this recipe but want to make sure I use the correct quantity of condensed milk. Here in the UK Condensed Milk is available in 397g tins and 170g and 450g squeezy bottles.
    What should I use?


    • Alida Ryder

      Nigel, I would suggest using the 397g tin. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Nigel Bailey

    It worked well. I thought I’d got the filling too lumpy but it was fine when it set. It is similar to what we would call in UK a custard tart.

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