Quick Recipes and Easy

Recipe for a South African Crustless Milk Tart

Milk Tart or Melktert is one of those classic South African dishes, that show up in infinite shades of cream at every social event where people bring a sweet contribution. At school fundraisers and tea and cake sales you will find several different versions interspersed with the odd tipsy tart, vetkoek, koeksisters or crunchies for variety.

A pastry case filled with a pale custard filling and speckled with cinnamon, it has a dense creamy texture that is sweet but not sickly, the comfort factor of creamy rice pudding without the bulk. Even my children, who don’t go for rich, creamy things, like it and it’s a fantastic way of using up that extra pint of milk that is about to go past its sell by date and at the same time getting the kids to up their dairy and calcium intake without overdosing on cream and stout. It uses half-stout milk not cream so is also a excellent choice for those who have to avoid cream but are missing the indulgence of it.

The joy of this particular recipe for a Crustless Milk Tart is that it by-passes the need for pastry, the filling going straight into a buttered pie dish and into the oven, so it can be assembled in five minutes, baked for 45 minutes and produce a tea time treat with nearly no effort. Also all the ingredients are mixed up in one bowl, leaving very small washing up. I’ve seen many other traditional recipes that demand that you whisk egg yolks and whites separately then fold in, but this way is already so tasty that there seems to be no need, unless you are looking for entertainment! This version is perfect for afternoons when you have a thousand other things to do and unexpected visitors show up for tea, or when you just feel the need for comfort food on a cold winter’s afternoon.

Crustless Milk Tart Recipe

¾ cup / 185ml self-raising flour
2 cups / 500ml milk
2 eggs
¾ cup / 185 ml sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 oz / 25g melted butter
pinch salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Place all the ingredients together into a bowl or food processor and beat to a smooth batter. Pour into a buttered pie dish (approximately 23cm/9″ in diameter, but it doesn’t matter if it’s not exact,the finished tart will just be either a bit deeper or shallower). Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 175C / 350F. Serve warm or cold. It sinks and becomes denser as it cools. If you eat it hot you’ll need a spoon to scoop up the soft custardy tart but cold you can pick up the slices in your hand, if it hasn’t vanished long before then.

If you feel like it you can always use a pastry base with this recipe as the filling. Use either puff pastry or a sweet shortcrust pastry and line the dish with it before pouring in the filling.

Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock

Kit Heathcock – worked and travelled in Italy for many years, is passionate about food and is lucky enough to work from home and have time to cook and write. Co-creator of aflowergallery.com A Flower Gallery home of original flower pictures, food-and-family.com Food and Family and original-orange.com Original Orange.

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