Nobody’s ouma’s milk tart

December 9th, 2011 § 14 comments

To appease my acid levels after my bitch session in Do I look bloggered? and because I was feeling nostalgic, I decided to bake a milk tart for the first time in twenty years. Milk tart. That cornerstone of Boere culinaria and the absolute antithesis of newfangled confectionary. Even in our mothers’ era milk tart was considered a tad oudoos. It’s more of an ouma thing. It is currently enjoying a retro-cool revival but I have encountered a few pasty, gelatinous offerings in restaurants. Of course, always pimped as The Best Milk Tart Ever Made With Grandma’s Recipe. Did grandma have a rough time of it during the Great Depression… or are you just skimping on eggs and butter?


Mom's much handled recipe tome


I was convinced me and my grandma’s recipe could do better. And that I would find it in my mom’s big black book. Quelle horreur when a definitive family recipe was nowhere to be found! I found a milk tart crust on page 4 and further on my old neighbour tannie Evelene’s coconut milk tart, followed by aunty Elsabe’s regular milk tart towards the end of the book. All I know is I like my tart with a Tennis biscuit crust. And enough cinnamon on top. So I took Evelene’s crust and Elsabe’s filling and baked a tart that eclipsed any of my sepia-toned, butter and eggy custard memories. I will give you the recipe. If you don’t have a memorable milk tart recipe in your family, please adopt this one. Pretend. Copy and paste it any which way you like. Don’t bother with credits because this really is nobody’s ouma’s milk tart.


She's plain but all heart


Universal ouma’s milk tart recipe:

CRUST 1 packet Tennis biscuits, reduced to fine crumbs; half a cup of sugar; half a cup of flour; 125g soft butter

Cream butter and sugar together, add dry ingredients, mix well. Line a standard pie dish (pictured above), including the sides and press down gently to create an even crust.

FILLING 1 litre full cream milk; 125g butter; 1 cup sugar; 4 very heaped tablespoons flour; pinch salt; 4 eggs separated, whites beaten to soft peaks; vanilla (I used two vanilla pods but would guess a quarter teaspoon of vanilla essence should do it); cinnamon

Heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Pour most of the milk into a pot, leave a cup aside to add to dry ingredients. Add butter to milk and bring to the boil. Remove vanilla seeds from pods, add seeds and pods to milk. Let milk boil for a minute or three to absorb the vanilla flavour, stir to keep from burning. In a bowl, make a dough with the flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks and remaining milk. Once milk has boiled, strain through a sieve, pour over dough. Mix well and pour back into pot. Medium heat and whisk like hell otherwise you’ll have lumpy custard in no time. Allow to thicken, then add whipped egg whites.  Pour into pie dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for about 20 minutes until set and crust edge is golden.

I strongly recommend you have a slice while it’s still warm. Delicious. My neighbour Simon described it as ‘quite possibly the best milk tart ever’ and Lord knows Simon’s a tough dessert diva to please.

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§ 14 Responses to Nobody’s ouma’s milk tart"

  • Adipex says:

    Hi, I log on to your blog on a regular basis. Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  • Janine says:

    Sorry I seemed to make a mistake in my 1st post. Please ignore ! ! ! ! Here it is corrected! .. Usually Milk Tarts containing Cake flour are baked and those with cornfour are your unbaked instant Milk Tarts
    Amount : 240 milliliters (ml) of all purpose flour
    Equals : 126.8 gram (g) of all purpose flour
    Cornflour Cornstarch Maize Conversion Results (Sets a 1 litre milk tart)
    Amount : 76 gram (g) of cornflour
    Equals : 119.87 milliliters (ml) of cornflour (Amount : 76 gram (g) of cornflour
    Equals : 119.87 milliliters (ml) of cornflour (If substituting cake flour use double ie; 240ml unsifted = 124g as it measures on my scale)
    /32g to set these ingredients)
    Or you could prepare with 38g of Cornflour + 16g of Cake flour

  • Janine says:

    Correction again (to bottom part) .. Or you could prepare with 38g of Cornflour + 32
    g of Cake flour (The above is to set a milk tart using 1 litre of milk)

  • Janine says:

    Wrong again I made it last night and you will need exactly 150ml ( 81g) Cake flour to set these ingredient…… Worked out perfect! A lovely recipe! Please be so kind to delete all my other messages.. Lastly if you want to make it a gluten free filling with maizena/cornflour 76g will be enough to set same recipe

  • jana says:

    Im confused, can I make the recipe as posted in your first post, baked?

  • bernice says:


  • grace says:

    hi nice recipe but my tart crumbled,can i bake my tart first with baking weights before pouring the filling

    • Bianca says:

      Hi Grace, apologies – I haven´t blogged in ages but am back in the saddle again. I actually baked the milk tart quite recently, following my own recipe and it was perfect. Perhaps just use a bit more butter, and be sure to crumble the tennis biscuits really finely? Don’t give up… milk tart is so worth it!

  • Laura says:

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. I’ve never made milk tart before and it turned out perfect the first time around, I’ll definitely be making this again.

    • Bianca says:

      Hi Laura!

      Awesome. And apologies for the late reply… I had a baby and stopped blogging but am now back in the saddle.

      Baked ye olde milk tart again recently and it is delicious. Great that it worked for you.

      Cheerio, B

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