A cheat version of the usual South African classic, with a more rustic flare
My motto for 2022 is to focus on more time for myself and slow down a bit. I still want to explore my passion for creating delicious dishes in the kitchen, but not always having to spend hours slogging over them.
Custard slices evoke memories of summer picnic desserts as you devour these hand-held delights, not without any mess. This milk tart slice is a play on the usual custard slice, but with the much loved South African twist.
Milk tart or (Melktert) as it is affectionately known, is a South African custard tart. The custard however, has a much higher ratio of milk to eggs, and usually whole eggs are used instead of just the yolks. To this end, the colour resembles milk more than having the yellow custard hue. The custard is also lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, which beautifully cuts through the sweetness.
I did not want to faff over making a base for a tart, and readymade puff pastry does a good job of replacing that. After cooking the custard on the stove, it foregoes the baking in the oven to set the custard, which also saves some time.
FOR THE MILK TART SLICES
- 2 * 150g ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted
- 350ml milk
- 180ml whipping cream
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- grating of fresh nutmeg
- 125g caster sugar
- 30g cornflour
- 2 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 40g butter
- cinnamon powder, for dusting
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Unroll the puff pastry sheet and trim it, so it fits neatly in a 20cm square tin. Dock it with a fork, place a piece of baking paper onto it and weight it down with another pan or baking beans.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the weight of the top sheet and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Once slightly cool, transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat this with the second sheet.
- For the custard, place the milk, cream, half the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a pot and heat until it just comes to a boil.
- Place the remaining sugar, eggs, cornflour and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Then slowly pour about a cup of the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Make sure to constantly whisk to avoid curdling.
- Pour the egg mix into the rest of the milk and cook on medium heat. Constantly whisk to prevent curdling, until the custard thickens and begins to bubble.
- Remove from the heat and add in the butter, let it completely melt into the custard.
- To assemble, line your pan with baking paper, so that the paper comes up the sides. This makes it easier to lift out.
- Place the first sheet of puff pastry into the tin, then pour in the custard and place the second pastry on top to cover the custard.
- Clingwrap and set in the fridge for at least 12 hours, or overnight for the custard to set.
- When set, use the overhang of baking paper to lift out of the tin.
- When ready to serve, dust with some cinnamon and icing sugar, and cut into slices.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com