Milk tart is a very traditional tart originally from my own country South Africa. There have been many competitions on the Afrikaans DSTV channels to see who makes the best recipe. And I am sure everybody thinks their one or their aunt's, mom's or grandma's recipe is the best! This milk tart I made a lot for the oversees guests and it is really delicious. I make a crust called sweet crust pastry, a recipe from my Chef school days. Then I make the lovely filling. And I must say the almond essence in here makes it extra special for me. I served it with home made vanilla ice-cream, see on my blog cinnamon ice-cream, but read below to follow the steps on to how to make basic vanilla flavour. And to complete the delicate dessert, I made a gooseberry coulis from fresh gooseberries, sugar and water. All the overseas guests loved it! And among all the desserts, it is one of my top-rated. Most of the milk tart crust and filling ingredients are always in the pantry. It is just the almond essence I guess that not everybody always uses. Milk tart is also a morning or afternoon tea treat and can be eaten just by the slice together with a lovely coffee or tea. My mom used to make this popular tart for birthdays and special occasions and I and my brother fought who can eat out the filling pot when my mom poured the filling into the crust shells! This is a great one, I hope you enjoy it too! With warm South - African wishes.
SHORTCRUST PASTRY:Sift the flour and salt onto a marble slab or a clean work surface.
Make a well in the centre.
Place the butter, yolks, vanilla and sugar in the well and with the fingers work the ingredients together to form a soft but stiff smooth dough.
(You can also use more modern ways to do this step).
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll out thinly on a flour dusted surface and line a large greased flan tin or individual tins.
Bake blind for 10-15 minutes by lining the pastry with grease proof paper or foil and fill it up with baking beans.
FILLING:Heat the milk, cream and cinnamon stick till just underneath boiling point.
Cover and let rest for 30-60 minutes to infuse well.(You can leave out this step, I do and it doesn't make much of a difference)
Heat again, this time until boiling point.
Strain the mixture for a cinnamon stick to be discarded.
Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl and whisk the warm milk mixture in with a whisk.
Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and heat for another 5 minutes on medium heat.
Whisk continuously. Remove aside and add the butter. Let cool and add the eggs one by one, whisking well after each addition.
Flavour with the almond essence.
Pour the milk tart filling in the blind baked pastry shells and place back in the oven on 180°Celsius.
Bake for a further 15-25 minutes until golden light brown, depending on the speed of your oven.