top of page

Monkey Weddings & Summer Sapphires

South Africa to Nova Scotia: Stories, Recipes & Memories

Melktert (Milktart)

A very traditional Afrikaans pie, it was introduced by the Cape Malays in the 17th Century to spice up the bland Dutch fare. Hands down my son, Jonah’s favorite dessert and only if it’s made by his dad. Every auntie and ouma (grandma) has her own special family recipe but this is Cliff’s (Milk Tart) recipe, not to be altered or messed with. It always makes an appearance at our Thanksgiving table and is so famous in fact, that it made it into our son’s Pre K school recipe book as “African Milk Tart.” For me it is still best on cold, rainy Sunday afternoons, curled up with a pile of books, beagles at my feet and Rooibos tea.


Makes a 13” Pie

Pie Crust

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 cups all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Custard Filling ¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

4 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter

3 cinnamon sticks

Ground cinnamon for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 13” fluted tart pan with a removable base or a pie dish.

2. To make the piecrust cream the butter and sugar together and beat in the egg.

3. Add the flour and salt and knead until a soft dough is formed.

4. Press the dough into the greased tart pan and bake blind for 15 minutes.

5. In the meantime start the filling. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs, cornstarch, flour and vanilla extract and mix.

6. In a saucepan over a medium-high heat combine the milk, butter and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.

6. Add a small amount of the milk mixture to the sugar mixture and mix. 7. Pour the sugar mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and heat gently stirring all the time until the mixture thickens for about 10 minutes. Do not boil.

8. Pour the filling into the piecrust and allow to cool.

9. Refrigerate the tart until ready to eat.

Sprinkle the ground cinnamon on top.

bottom of page