Margarita's International Recipes




Melktert or milktart is a ubitquitous dessert in South Africa, baked at home and bakeries nationwide. It's basically a light custard pie, originally served on a short crust but now most often eaten on a puff pastry crust, though I've also found recipes for it on a graham cracker crust or with no crust at all. The tart is easy to make, fluffy and is said to have been introduced by Dutch settlers in the 17th century.

I was happy enough for this recipe. I used a store-bought pie shell which I pre-baked according to instructions, but feel free to use whatever pie shell you want.




  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extracts
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Pre-bake a pie-crust according to recipe or directions. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put milk, 1/3 cup sugar, butter and cinnamon sticks in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup of the milk mixture and mix well. Whisk in the yolks.

Return saucepan with milk mixture to the stove and turn heat to medium. Slowly stir in the egg-flour mixture. Mix well. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla and almosnd extracts and turn off heat. Cool for at least five minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until they form thick peaks. Fold egg whites gently into the custard. Pour into prepared pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve warm.

Adapted from a recipe in Tamil Hultman's The African News Cookbook

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