South African No-Bake Milk Tart – Melktert

South African no-bake milk tart - Melktert | All that's Jas

Easy to make, Milk Tart aka Melktert is a classic South African dessert recipe with a custard-like filling dusted with cinnamon and a delicious crust made from tennis biscuits.

 

Traditional South African milk tart recipe.

 

The filling is cooked on the stovetop but you can find recipes that are oven-baked and that have no crust at all.

 

If you’re anything like me, you have a recipe or three for every occasion and any type of eater, picky or not. But, do you have a recipe for afternoon tea? Maybe that sounds like a silly question, but, wow, I have an amazing recipe for you!

 

Tarts are a little fancy, but not like evening gown fancy – just a polite afternoon tea fancy. Especially when you dust a little sugar over the top to give you a little boldness and a nice, photo-worthy aesthetic.

 

It’s not difficult to make either. Trust me, YOU CAN DO IT! Like baking, you just need to be patient and take extra care of your creation.

 

If tea isn’t your thing, that’s okay because I know what is: Dessert. Everyone loves a rich vanilla custard-like filling paired with cinnamon inside of a beautiful, homemade crust.

 

A little bit of smooth and rich with a texture contrast really gets the taste buds going, and this confection really does the trick.

 

Classic South African dessert recipe with a custard-like filling and a delicious crust.

 

WHAT IS MILK TART?

 

Milk tart is a South African dessert consisting of a pastry crust and a creamy, custard-like filling. It’s their version of creampie or milk pie.

 

WHAT ARE TENNIS BISCUITS?

 

Tennis biscuits are a square, crispy tea biscuit made with a little maple syrup and coconut.

 

WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF TENNIS BISCUITS?

 

You can use Digestive Biscuits, Graham Crackers, or Marie biscuits, however, it’ll alter the authenticity of the recipe and its flavor.

 

HOW LONG DOES MILK TART LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

 

Covered and refrigerated, this tart will keep well for up to 4 days, if it lasts that long, ha!

 

HOW TO MAKE SOUTH AFRICAN MELKETART?

 

  1. In a food processor, combine biscuits with melted butter and cinnamon; process until the biscuits are crushed and all ingredients are combined. Press into the bottom and sides of your tart pan; refrigerate.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and 1/2 cup milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of milk to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and slowly stir in your blended mixture, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared tart pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let cool and then place into refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

Crust and filling for milk tart.

 

CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE GLUTEN-FREE?

 

Absolutely! Use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs or make it crustless. Pour the custard into a greased tart or cake pan, dust with cinnamon and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

 

RECIPE NOTES FOR MILK TART: 

 

  • You can pack the biscuits in a single layer on the bottom of the tart pan, instead of crushing them into crumbs.
  • Make the crust ahead of time; just simply leave it in the fridge in the tart pan.
  • Adding a cinnamon stick to the saucepan with milk will infuse the filling with a hint of cinnamon. Remove the stick before pouring filling over the crust.
  • Stove-top custard is ready when it’s thick enough to coat a whisk or a spoon well, or if you’re able to run a spoon through it and the line holds its shape.
  • Decorate your tart by dusting ground cinnamon over a stencil, paper cut-out, or doily gently placed on top of the tart. Lift carefully.
  • You can mix up the flavor a bit by using nutmeg and cinnamon instead of just cinnamon.

 

Delicious recipe for Melktert - a tart with milk - South African style

 

PRODUCTS USED FOR THIS RECIPE:

 

These are affiliate links for Amazon but you can find these products at a store too. Gotta love Amazon because it is such a time saver and you have it delivered to your door quickly and free (if you’re a Prime Member). If you like boring legal things, click here to read my full disclosure policy.

 

Tennis Biscuits

If you love coconut, you’ll love these delicious Coconut biscuits which go equally well with tea as they do as a baking ingredient.

Electric Mixer

An electric mixer is a staple of every kitchen and you certainly don’t need to buy one if you already have a mixer that works. I would recommend a standing mixer. It’s a time saver – you let it do its thing while you prep other ingredients. If you can afford this one, put it on your Christmas or Birthday wish list. That’s how I got mine, two people pitched in.

Food Processor

You certainly don’t need to spend a lot on a good food processor. I’ve had this one for about 8 years and it still serves me well. You’ll find many uses for it and it will help cut (no pun intended) your preparation time at least in half. Can you imagine chopping everything into teeny tiny pieces by hand? Trust me – a food processor is your best friend. Browse to find one that suits your needs the best.

Wilton Non-Stick Tart Pan

You can get any brand tart pan, but I’m never disappointed by Wilton. It is usually my go-to for baking needs.

 

This no-bake South African milk tart is easy to make and super delicious.

 

IF YOU LIKE THIS SOUTH AFRICAN DESSERT, TRY THESE:

· Malva Pudding Mini Cakes

· Oatmeal Cookie Bars – Crunchies 

 


South African no-bake milk tart - Melktert | allthatsjas.com
Print Recipe

South African No-Bake Milk Tart – Melktert

Classic South African dessert recipe with a custard-like filling and a delicious crust.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: South African
Servings: 8
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust

For the filling

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 1/2 cups full-fat milk divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • Ground cinnamon for dusting

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust:

  • In a food processor blend the tennis or digestive biscuits with cinnamon and melted butter until combined and crumbled.
  • Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom and spread over the bottom and up the sides, firmly pressing down. Place the pan in the fridge to harden while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  • With an electric mixer or a food processor, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, 1/2 cup milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.
  • In a large saucepan, add 4 cups milk and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the milk.
  • Lower the heat to low and slowly, in a thin stream, add the flour mixture to the hot milk, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until thickened and completely cooked, about 15 minutes or when the filling pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
  • Pour in prepared tart pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and let cool. When cool, refrigerate until firm enough to slice, at least 1 hour before serving.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • You can pack the biscuits in a single layer on the bottom of the tart pan, instead of crushing them into crumbs.
  • Make the crust ahead of time; just simply leave it in the fridge in the tart pan.
  • Adding a cinnamon stick to the saucepan with milk will infuse the filling with a hint of cinnamon. Remove the stick before pouring the filling over the crust.
  • Stove-top custard is ready when it's thick enough to coat a whisk or a spoon well, or if you're able to run a spoon through it and the line holds its shape.
  • Decorate your tart by dusting ground cinnamon over a stencil, paper cut-out, or doily gently placed on top of the tart. Lift carefully.
  • You can mix up the flavor a bit by using nutmeg and cinnamon instead of just cinnamon.
  • See post details for a gluten-free version. 
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
South African No-Bake Milk Tart – Melktert
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Potassium 215mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Sugars 32g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 17.6%
Calcium 17.1%
Iron 3.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Featured on The Cottage Market and Jodie Fitz.

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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16 Comment

  1. Reply
    Ron
    January 29, 2019 at 11:08 am

    This looks perfect for our afternoon fika (Sweden’s answer to afternoon tea). I love tarts like this, not overpoweringly sweet and nice and creamy. Digestives will be my go to here as I’ve never seen tennis biscuits. I’ll have to have a look next time I’m at our English shop here.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      January 31, 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Digestive will work just fine, Ron! This was the first time I tried tennis biscuits and I like the hint of coconut.

  2. Reply
    Lee MacArthur
    February 1, 2019 at 12:28 am

    This looks so good. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

      You’re welcome, Lee!

  3. Reply
    Ushmana Palmo Rai
    February 1, 2019 at 3:18 am

    I have never had milk tarts before but would love to try an afternoon dessert for the weekend. I had never heard of tennis biscuits as markets around here don’t sell it. I’ll try mine with coconut biscuits to give it the same taste! Any dessert that is gluten free is my safe haven!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

      It would be so good with coconut biscuits or crustless if you prefer. Thanks for stopping in!

  4. Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    February 1, 2019 at 6:44 am

    I would love the creaminess of this – especially with the pastry! I also appreciate it not being too sweet.Thanks xx Maria

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 4, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Thanks, Maria! It really isn’t too sweet but you could use even less sugar without ruining it. 🙂

  5. Reply
    chefjulianna
    February 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Wow, Jas! Your tart is a thing of beauty! I can just imagine that cool, creamy custard right now. I wouldn’t need any particular occasion in my house for it to be eaten! It would just disappear in a heartbeat! Thank-you so much for linking your post to Fiesta Friday this week.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 4, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Thanks for the giggle, Julianna! Same here, no occasion necessary, but February 27 is a National Milk Tart Day so I think I’ll have to make it then too. 😀

  6. Reply
    Antonia
    February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

    What a beautiful dessert. I love the designs on top and it sounds divine. I adore learning about food I’m not familiar with, and I really enjoyed your post. Thank you for bringing your unique and delicious tart to the party. Happy Fiesta Friday, Jas!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 4, 2019 at 10:26 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Antonia! Warms my heart. Thank you for your kind words. xx

  7. Reply
    midsummerlifedream
    February 6, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I have never seen or heard of this before but it’s so pretty I have to try to make it!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 7, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      I hope you will, Jasmine! It’s easy enough and pretty delicious. 🙂

  8. Reply
    acraftymix
    February 17, 2019 at 4:34 am

    My beautiful friend. You’ve done it again. I’m so glad you tried the recipe and enjoyed it. Melktert is always such a special treat

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you and your MIL for the recipe, my friend! It was favored by my family. The 27 of February is your National Milktart day – I may make it again then 😉

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