How to make a classic milk tart



The South African milk tart is such a well loved traditional South African dessert that there is even a National milk tart day.

Yes, that’s really a thing in South Africa because we really love our old fashioned milk tart or ‘melktert’.

Whether you know it as old fashioned custard pie, South African custard tart, egg custard tart or egg custard pie, melktert recipes in each family are often strictly guarded and handed down from generation to generation.

Here’s the best recipe to make your milk tart at home.



Ready made puff-pastry
1 egg white
2 cup milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 eggs-separated
1/2 cup sugar
60ml cake flour
30ml corn flour
30ml custard powder
1pinch salt
2tbsp butter
1tsp vanilla paste
1/4tsp Robertson’s cream of tartar ground cinnamon – for dusting


For the base:

Cut the puff pastry to size and then line a tart tin. Brush the pastry with a lightly beaten egg white then refrigerate.

For the filling:

  • Heat the milk with a cinnamon stick in a medium pot (do not boil).
  • Beat the yolks and sugar until creamy and light then add the flours, custard powder and salt – the mixture will be quite thick.
  • Add pour the milk into the egg mixture slowly then return all of it to the pot.
  • Bring to the boil and whisk constantly until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla paste.
  • Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the custard filling.
  • Pour into the chilled pastry case and bake at 180⁰C for about 30 minutes, or until golden.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow to cool before serving.