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This melktert recipe offers a creamy, indulgent filling with a delicate balance of vanilla and cinnamon, encased in a buttery, flaky crust. It's a modern take on the classic, maintaining the traditional flavors but with a twist in technique for added texture and taste.


1 1⁄2 c flour (all purpose flour, 1/4 cup for the filling, rest for crust)
1⁄4 c confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1⁄2 c butter (chilled butter, cut into cubes)
2 egg yolk (one for the crust, one for the filling)
1 T water (or as needed, ice water)
2 1⁄2 c milk
1⁄2 c sugar
2 egg
1⁄4 c corn starch
1 t vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)
1 T butter
1 pn salt
  cinnamon (ground cinnamon, for dusting)


Prepare the crust

In a food processor, combine flour and powdered sugar. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the egg yolk and ice water, pulsing until the dough just comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Roll out the dough and press it into a 9-inch tart pan. Prick the bottom with a fork.

Blind bake the crust for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and bake for another 15 minutes until golden.

Make the filling

Heat the milk with the vanilla bean (split and scraped) until just below boiling.

In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, egg yolk, flour, cornflour, and salt until smooth.

Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture.

Return the mixture to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted and incorporated.

Assemble and bake

Pour the filling into the baked crust and smooth the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 325ºF, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.

Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.


Dust with ground cinnamon before serving.

Serve chilled, cut into wedges.

Total time
1 hour, 20 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
4 servings


Melktert is traditionally served at room temperature or chilled. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of rooibos tea or a dessert wine.


For a gluten-free version, use a blend of gluten-free flours for the crust. For a richer filling, substitute half of the milk with heavy cream. Add a layer of sliced bananas on the crust before adding the filling for a fruity twist.


Sout African cuisine

dessert, snack, treat
mix, bake, sweet
South African food recipes
Food in Africa