Traditional Melktert

"This is the real old fashioned traditional South African Melktert, quite delicious, and rightly one of our favourite treats. There are many of these recipes on the web, adjusted in various ways, and with many ingredients added which were not available when this recipe was first created. These can make the finished tart something quite different from the original. There are also many recipes available that do not contain cinnamon, which may be a personal preference, but is definitely NOT traditional! It is very important to keep the pastry short, and to pre-bake it, so that the creamy filling does not make it soggy. I use honey in my filling, because it is more nutritious than sugar, and healthier, (and I think the settlers may well have used it, not sugar) but if you hate honey, you could substitute 80 - 100g sugar, to taste."
photo by ZAR-INA photo by ZAR-INA
photo by ZAR-INA
Ready In:
1 tart




  • First bake the pastry base, and allow it to cool. If the base is filled before it is cool, it will go soggy.
  • Mix the butter and sugar vigorously until it is light in colour. It does not have to be smooth, the grainy texture of the sugar helps the crust to be more like biscuit than cake.
  • Add the egg and beat well.
  • Add the flour and beat until well blended and smooth.
  • Press into a spring-form cake tin or loose-bottom tin, making sure that the pastry comes at least 4cms (1 1/2 inches) up the side of the tin.
  • Bake at 180degC for 25mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Put the milk, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and butter into a saucepan and scald. (bring almost to the boil before removing from the heat.) Turn off the heat and allow the saucepan to remain on the hot stove plate for the cinnamon and vanilla flavours to steep.
  • Meanwhile, put the honey (or sugar) and eggs into a bowl and whisk vigorously, adding small amounts of the flours until you have a smooth and well-blended consistency.
  • Strain the hot milk, and pour onto the sugar and egg mixture while beating until all the ingredients are well blended.
  • Return to the saucepan, and simmer over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or wire whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy, taking care that it does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared and cooled pastry case, (which should still be in the tin), sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon, and refrigerate until cold and set.

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  1. Thanks so much ZAR-INA. The recipe I had got lost but this sounds EXACTLY the same except for the honey but I'll be making it tomorrow and will give the honey a go.


I am a breeder of Labrador Retrievers in Johannesburg, South Africa. The dogs are my greatest passion and love, but fine cuisine comes a very close second. One of my most cherished dreams has been to study at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, but until that dream comes true, I spend a lot of pleasant hours experimenting on my friends and family.
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