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Milk tart with a twist – South African style

By July 16, 2021December 14th, 2022FinGlobal

Milk tart with a twist – South African style

July 16, 2021


Who’s up for some milk tart? We know we are! But instead of going down the same old store-bought route, why not try to make it yourself? Better yet, why not try incorporating some delicious mandarin in it. You know home-baked goodness is always the best! Before you get started on the recipe, it’s always nice to appreciate some history surrounding South African food.

Guess which sweet treat has put South Africa on the culinary world map? You guessed it, the milk tart (melktert as our people call it). The make it yourself hails straight from the Cape of Good Hope. While the Dutch settlers introduced the milk-based filling, our Cape Malays knew cinnamon was the way forward. Now, with a South African twist, we’ve ramped up the flavours by featuring our surprise ingredient: mandarins! So, don’t just dip your toes into the water and make a traditional milk tart; why not take a step further out and do something traditional – with a twist!

You’ll be pleased to get your hands on a recipe that helps you produce a milk tart that is incredibly light and creamy yet packed full of wonderful mandarin flavour. One delightful ball of citrus is enough to transform your ordinary milk tart into a dreamy pie. And, of course, we know you still want the cinnamon taste ringing out, so we haven’t skimped on that!

Here’s how you celebrate a world of flavour!


Milk tart recipe (melktert resep)


Mandarin milk tart

This perfect-for-entertaining mandarin milk tart qualifies as a quick and easy dessert pie that you can whip up in a jiffy. You don’t necessarily have to go and shop for these ingredients! You’ve probably got everything you need in your pantry (hopefully). Here is everything you will need to make the perfect milk tart – with a twist, of course!


Ingredients for pastry

  • 1 + ¼ cups (185g) cake flour
  • 100g unsalted butter (cold and chopped into chunks)
  • One egg (lightly beaten) plus one extra egg yolk
  • One mandarin zest (finely grated)
  • 2 tsp milk
  • ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar


Ingredients for filling

  • 3 cups (750ml) milk
  • 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Two eggs
  • One cinnamon stick
  • One split vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
  • One mandarin
  • ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
  • Icing sugar (to dust)
  • Ground cinnamon (to dust)


What to do

  • First things first – preheat your oven to 180° Celsius. 
  • For the pastry: combine the flour, butter, and sugar in a food processor. Whiz away until your mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Next, add the milk, the egg yolk, and the zest. Pulse again until the mixture comes together. Please don’t overwork your dough because it will become tough.
  • Shape your pastry into a disc, get a plastic wrap, and enclose it. Allow the dough to chill for about 30 minutes.  
  • It’s time to roll out the dough. Lightly flour your worktop surface and roll the pastry out about 4mm thick.
  • Grease a pie pan – now, lightly press the pastry into the pan working from the centre up. Do this until the bottom and sides of the pan are fully and completely covered. Again, please be very gentle with pressing the dough in; we don’t want to tear it.
  • Poke the base using a fork, then place baking paper on top of the pastry. Add rice or pastry weights on top of the baking paper to keep the dough from rising – if you don’t have these, substitute them with beans and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Now it’s time to remove the baking paper and weights. Using the beaten egg, brush the pastry and then place it back into the oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Once done, set aside.
  • For the filling: Place the cinnamon, vanilla pod plus seeds, and the milk into a saucepan. Let it sit over medium heat. Start peeling the mandarin. Leave the fruit aside as garnish for later. Add the peel to the pan and bring to simmer. Take the pan off the heat and allow the mixture to infuse for about 15 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, whisk the egg, caster sugar, cake flour, and cornflour into a separate bowl until combined. Start straining the milk over the egg mixture while whisking constantly. 
  • Return to the pan where you left the mandarin to be infused and gently whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan; please make sure there are no lumps in it. 
  • Now put the saucepan back on the stove over low heat. Cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes until it thickens up. 
  • Once thick, you may remove it from the heat and pour it into the pastry shell. Bake this for 20-25 minutes until set. Allow to cool down slightly.


How to dress your tart

Once your tart has cooled slightly, it’s time to tart it up (see what we did there?!). Simply sprinkle some cinnamon and dust the icing sugar on top. Next, slice the mandarin fruit that you reserved previously and use it to garnish the tart. There we go! A perfect dessert or tea-time treat. You choose. Now, that’s what we call milk tart – with a twist!


Milk tart with a twist


FinGlobal, not just a great recipe company!

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, you’re probably wondering what it is that we actually do at FinGlobal. FinGlobal is an energetic company focusing on all the nitty-gritty that goes into successfully emigrating from South African to another country. As you might have guessed, often, it’s the tax and money side of things that hold people back. However, when you work closely with FinGlobal on your tax and financial emigration from the country, you can expect a hassle-free, smooth financial process from beginning to end. Our team, which has an entire decade of experience, already has a fine reputation for providing the type of SA expat services that can only aptly be described as “premium.” That’s because we care! If you’re worried about how to go about arranging your tax and finances when you leave SA, or if you have already left, we are just a phone call away. Simply give us a call on 028 312 2764 or send us an email at


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