This is the Best Milk Tart in South Africa – Ever!! With 2 of the Best Ever Crusts – A Biscuit or a Shortbread Pastry Crust. This is the BEST Milk Tart you will ever eat! It does NOT get better than this. I Promise this will become your favorite too!
Makes: 2 Milk Tarts with a diameter of 23 cm (9 inches)
When measuring: Use a set of measuring spoons. The flour must be loosely packed and leveled off with back of a knife – NEVER compress the flour! This is baking law.
To economise you may use half butter to margarine but butter is always best.
Weigh your pastry if you have a scale and form it into 2 balls equal in weight. Place each ball in center of pie plate and press out. Easier if you have a pie pastry press which is a little hand-held gadget with sloping sides which presses out pastry onto bottom and sloped sides of foil pie plates as well as edges of foil dish or use the bottom of a glass if you don’t have one. With the tins of a fork press out decorative pattern along rim of foil plate. Trim off the excess pastry neatly with a knife.
Scottish shortbread Pastry Crust 1 (Baked):
180 ml Cake Flour – Loosely packed and leveled off with the back of a knife
2 Tablespoon castor sugar
Generous pinch salt
6 Tablespoons (90 ml) butter — you may use a hard, good tasting margarine or half and half
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F ).
Sift together flour, castor sugar and salt.
Rub the butter into the flour until it forms crumbs.
Bring pastry together to form a ball.
Place each ball into the center of two 23cm / 9 inch diameter pie foil plates.
Press out pastry evenly making sure to even it out where the bottom meets side walls.
Use the tins of your fork around rim of plate edges to press out a pattern.
Trim and neaten pastry over hanging edges by gently running a knife around the outer lip circumference of plate.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven. Set aside.
Biscuit Pastry Crust 2 (Instant – No Bake):
Do not add sugar if using Tennis biscuits as they are sweet enough – Only add the sugar if you are using South African Marie biscuits.
You may: Butter a 23 x 23 cm square container using square-shaped South Africa Tennis biscuits to line the bottom and exclude the butter.
For Lunch Box Milk Tarts: Butter the bottom of your lunch boxes. Prepare below recipe and press it into bottom of lunch boxes or you may omit the butter and just sprinkle a layer of biscuit crumbs onto bottoms.
You may bake and all in one tart in a flat square metal container (30 x 30 cm) at 180 C for 10 – 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Set aside to cool down before pouring in your filling.
Never be tempted to make a high or tall milk tart as the upper weight will compress out the air below and will result in a poor mouth feel. (I have tested it!)
200 g Tennis or Marie biscuits
122 g of hot melted butter
pinch salt or to taste
Add 22 ml sugar – Only if using Marie biscuits
Break up biscuits and place into food processor with metal blade on. Pulse until crumbs or place into a bag and crush with rolling-pin or feet until crumbs.
Press mixture into 2 pie foil containers or lunch boxes using a hand-held pastry press or the bottom of a drinking glass. Set aside.
Milk Tart Filling:
Use a large 5 liter bowl so boiling milk will not rise up spilling over sides thus messing up your microwave oven.
Make sure dry measures (cornflour) are scooped up loosely, without compressing and leveled off with the back of a knife. It is baking law!
When beating your milk tart filling before pouring into pastry cases try beating in air for extra lightness. It gives a better mouth feel. Easily done with a stick blender held at an angle. There is a knack to this but you will pick it up if you make them on a regular basis. Never over-beat the mixture, as the air will begin to collapse.
I prefer making my milk tarts before I go to bed so that by morning they have fully set.
1 (385 g) tin condensed milk (use a good brand like Nestle)
4 1/2 cups milk (1.125 liters) full cream milk (I like Jersey milk)
15 ml margarine or butter
3 extra-large eggs
80 ml corn flour
5 ml vanilla essence (Optional to taste: 1 – 2 drops almond essence, 3-4 caps caramel essence, 15 – 30 ml vanilla, 3/4 of a whole nutmeg grated)
Cinnamon for sprinkling
This is my quick ‘n easy microwave method for the filling – You will need 2 identical 5 liter deep microsafe bowls.
1. To a large micro safe oven bowl add your unsifted cornflour together with a pinch salt, followed by cracking over your eggs. Stir all together well with beaters or stick blender (do NOT switch on!) until all the cornflour has been incorporated otherwise you will have flour all over your kitchen! & then give it a quick whiz until smooth & set aside.
2. Bring all the milk to the boil in a microwave oven. Remove and use some of the hot milk to swish out all the condensed milk from the can. Return all the milk to bowl & continue cooking until it comes to a rolling boil, immediately with stick blender or beaters running in the other 5 liter bowl, pour boiling milk into cornflour egg mixture beating continuously. Give it a good whiz trying not to let temperature drop too much & put back in (a 1000 w microwave) oven for a further 3 minutes until you see it is starting to thicken up around the walls & edges of the bowl, once it does so quickly remove, beating again to smooth it out & put back in oven to cook a further 3 minutes until it begins thickening up again around the edges. Beat once again & taste. It should taste cooked. **Be careful not to overcook the cornflour as it will break down and begin thinning out. Once the cornflour tastes cooked it is done.
3. Whilst still hot, quickly beat in your butter followed by (all are added to taste) vanilla, caramel essence, 1-2 drops almond essence & grated nutmeg. I find this combination makes the filling taste so much extra special !!
4. Empty filling into pastry cases. Dust with cinnamon. Allow to cool down a bit & refrigerate to set.
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