South African Milk Tart: Microwave Edition

South African Melk Tert, or Milk Tart in English, is another one of those classic South African recipes that has been around for generations and can be found in every region of the southern African nation. It dates back to the 1600’s when the Dutch first settled in the Cape. Since then it has been omnipresent in all parts of South Africa’s heritage and can be found in every grocery store, coffee shop, and church bazaar, just to name a few. What exactly is it, you ask, well I’ll tell you: it’s an impeccably delicious dessert consisting of a sweet, flaky pastry crust that’s filled with a milk, creamy custard-like filling made of milk, eggs, sugar, flour, and a hint of vanilla. It’s traditionally served in a round pie dish, but has been transformed into various other forms, even liqueur. The best part about this recipe in particular is that it uses incredibly time-saving shortcuts. This recipe can be made in using a store-bought pie crust and the filling is cooked in the microwave which means it’s quick, easy, nearly foolproof. I’ve yet to meet ANYONE who doesn’t like this dessert. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and impress your friends at your next party or get together.


  • Store bought deep-dish pie crustMilk Tart
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch


  1. Bake pie crust as instructed on packaging.
  2. Pour all 4 cups of milk in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until it boils (approximately 5 minutes, depending on your microwave’s strength)
  3. While the milk is boiling, separate 2 of the eggs and beat the egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form then set them aside.
  4. In a bowl add 1 whole egg, the 2 separated egg yolks, cornstarch, flour and sugar. Mini Milk TartsMix with a hand or stand mixer until it’s a creamy consistency.
  5. When the milk is boiling remove it from the microwave and pour one cup of the boiling milk into the creamed sugar mixture, whisking constantly as you pour (this is called tempering and will prevent you from making scrambled eggs).
  6. Once it’s combined pour the tempered mixture into the rest of the milk, whisking constantly as you pour. Whisk until everything is well combined.
  7. Put mixture back in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove mixture and whisk again, then microwave for another 2 minutes.
  9. At this stage your mixture should be a thick consistency.
  10. Add the vanilla and margarine/butter and stir well. Then fold in the egg whites from step 3.
  11. Microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
  12. Remove mixture from the microwave, stir one last time and pour it into the baked pie crust.
  13. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
  14. Let the milk tart cool completely and once it has cooled put it in the fridge.


**TIP: If you’re having a dinner party you can make individual Milk Tarts by using store-bought mini pie crusts.

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