Marshmallow Fridge Tart

Marshmallow Fridge Tart

If you consider yourself a food purist / food snob or someone who only eats at fine dining restaurants, look away now. Because what I’m about to share with you, might shock you. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been going through my mom’s mountains of cookbooks stored all over our house. I need to clarify first of all that my mom was a hoarder of note. Everything and I mean everything was kept. She even had a piece of paper in the side of her door where she would rub our kisses on when she dropped us at school, so that they could me kept. So it will come as no surprise when you see the amount of books we have in our house. Almost every single door way has a book shelf hanging over it that she made my dad build to house all the books. Then we have two huge book shelves, one in the passage and one in the gym (read : storage room).

Marshmallow Fridge Tart

I’ve learnt quite a lot about my mom whilst reading these old cookbooks. She didn’t hate cooking like I always thought, she actually really loved it and really tried her best to keep our menu’s during the week quite varied and fun. I do however think this was the one area she did not have much patience with and she probably didn’t like the kitchen as much as she liked the idea of the kitchen. By all the recipes she liked in these books, she would make notes or little tick marks. At the back of the one book she even wrote down the menu planning for my Christening. I quietly wiped my tears away when I saw this and the smile on my face actually hurt my cheeks. It’s so incredible, 6 years after her passing that I’m discovering all these books and all her notes. It’s almost like she’s guiding me. Which is exactly what I needed a few weeks ago. I had been working incredibly hard on a project and I was exhausted and just felt emotionally finished. It was at this time that I looked up at the bookshelf closest to the kitchen and saw all my mom’s favourites. And as I took out the first, a mountain of scraps of paper fell out on my head, all with my mom’s writing on. Things like “easy chicken stew”, “best fast paella” and “sickly sweet marshmallow tart” stared back at me. I couldn’t help but laugh because this was definitely my mom’s handy work. She had a wicked sense of humour and I’m sure she had a good chuckle when she saw me taking out that book and being showered with her cooking notes.

Marshmallow Fridge Tart

I’ve made my way through about 7 books now and the things I’ve seen have both scarred and inspired me. The 70’s and 80’s were not only fashionably dodgy years but also dodgy in cooking terms. And then I’m not even talking about the photography. But I still love browsing through them and trying to think of ways to upgrade the recipes and make them modern. But one recipe I cannot for the life of me make modern, is this Marshmallow Fridge Tart. When I saw this recipe a whole truck-load full of memories swamped me and I had visions of bright colours, permed hair and my mom’s yellow and white polka dot heels. For me, this is the 80’s in a dessert. Sickly sweet, a little bit kitsch with its light pink and white marshmallows and bright red cherries peaking out but above and beyond all that, it’s charming. And something you can only make for people who have a good sense of humour.

Marshmallow Fridge Tart

I think my mom loved this so much because it was fast, easy, relatively cheap and the kids loved it (and judging by my dad’s reaction when he saw it in the fridge last night, the adults loved it just as much). The only adjustment I made was to fold in a cup of greek yoghurt to lighten the mixture up slightly. But other than that, this recipe is written down exactly like this in the book. Enjoy!

Makes 1 large fridge tart, serves approximately 10-12

1 packet tennis biscuits (coconut flavoured cookies), crushed
3 tbsn butter, melted
1 tin condensed milk
100ml lemon juice
1 cup plain, greek yoghurt
500ml cream
2 cups marshmallows, finely chopped (you can also use mini-marshmallows)
1 cup red glacé cherries, chopped

  1. Mix the tennis biscuits with the butter and stir until the mixture resembles damp sand. Press into the bottom of a deep, rectangular dish (or smaller dishes if you prefer to make individual portions).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the condensed milk and lemon juice and beat until thick. Fold in the Greek yoghurt.
  3. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold the marshmallows and cherries into the condensed milk mixture.
  5. Gently fold the cream into the condensed milk mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit crumb base and refrigerate until set.
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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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  • Che Kershaw

    This is a great post :) I’m sure your mom would have been proud of the re-appearance of the “sickly-sweet-Marshmallow-tart” :) it looks simply delicious!

    • Ally_R

      Che : Thanks! I’m sure she would’ve been too proud! :)

      Sam : I think it’s so ironic that even though she’s not with me anymore, she still sends messages etc. through the things she left here. 2 years ago those recipe books would’ve meant nothing to me but I found them now, when I needed her guidance. It’s really heart warming.

      Di: Let me know what they think! :)

      Thekla : Wow, thank you. And there is no reason necessary to make this! ;)

  • Sam

    I loved reading your post about your mom. Such a lovely way to connect with her. As I too lost my mom when I was young, I can so relate. What a truly 80ies and quite South African recipe. I am also going through old recipe books from my mom and gran, trying to dig up gems, but generally I find I dont eat (or cook) they way they did, so it is lilkely to only be inspiration at this point.

  • Di

    This looks delicious!
    My kids will be helping me make this one! ;) yum

  • Thekla Schwager

    Love you site, recipes and writing style. Today’s blog filled me with nostalgia and the renewed intention to enjoy as much quality time with my Mom while I still have her! Now I just need to find and excuse to make that crazy tart!

  • Karen Roux

    I just made the marshmallow tart. I hope it will be okay, I did not see you must melt the butter till afterwards!! Also because I dont eat yogurt I did not add it. I guess the first time is always a practise run, so will have to see how it tast!

    • Ally_R

      Karen, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference to the crumb base if you didn’t melt the butter. :)

  • Marisa

    I don’t care if that makes me “kommin” but this looks fab. I’ve had something similar, not a tart but more a type of Eton mess, with condensed milk, yoghurt, marshmallows and pineapple. It was fantastically good!

  • Karen Roux

    The tart was delicious!!! My husband had a big slice and took a second helping!! We are all children inside!! LOL

    • Ally_R

      Karen, so glad you enjoyed it! :) It is quite a winner!

  • Rene

    I also have this recipe, and a while back I took this to a dinner party, attended by a few food snobs. You should’ve seen their eyes when I told them what we’re having for dessert….but what ended up happening, they finished all of it and actually loved it.

    • Alida Ryder

      Isn’t that always the case? ;)

  • PinkPolkaDot


  • Shel

    I remember making this in res in the 80’s….such a retro classic! Thank you for the recipe, am definately going to be making it for my kids now! Your blog is GORGEOUS! !!
    3 Cheers to you being South African too!

    • Alida Ryder

      Thanks for the lovely comment Shel!

  • Koren

    We have a similar family recipe … it does not have a biscuit base but uses a tin of crushed pineapple folded into the mixture … we call it “Sinful Pudding” :)

  • Themba

    Hallos! I can’t wait to try this, looks do good. please tell me, what can i use instead of the lemon juice, i want to try this for my mum and she does not eat lemon or lemon juice. is it a must to include?

    • Ally_R

      Themba, you can leave out the lemon juice but I wouldn’t suggest it. It gives just the right acidity to off-set the intense sweetness of the condensed milk and marshmallows. Also, the lemon juice does something to the condensed milk which thickens it nicely.

  • Tuppints

    Have just made this recipe, figers crossed …. will let you know how it turned out and if my boyfriend gave it the thumbs up :)

  • Karin

    I just want to say thank you for posting this recipe. My mother died in South Africa when I was 13. My father and step mother threw all her hand written recipes away when they moved……. She always made this dessert….. I have been looking for it for ages…………..
    Thank you………..

    • Ally_R

      Karin, your comment brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad that I could give you a little piece of your mom back. :)

  • Marlene

    This is a wiinner made it for Christmas my family loved it!

    • Alida Ryder

      So glad you liked it Marlene!

  • African Princess

    We used to make this as teenagers with pineapple pieces…everyone loved it and I will be making it for Christmas this year :)

    • Alida Ryder

      Yum! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Alida Ryder

    So glad you liked it Amy!

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