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 crust
- 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
- Bake pie crust as instructed on packaging.
- 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)
- 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.
- In a bowl add 1 whole egg, the 2 separated egg yolks, cornstarch, flour and sugar. Mix with a hand or stand mixer until it’s a creamy consistency.
- 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).
- 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.
- Put mixture back in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Remove mixture and whisk again, then microwave for another 2 minutes.
- At this stage your mixture should be a thick consistency.
- Add the vanilla and margarine/butter and stir well. Then fold in the egg whites from step 3.
- Microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
- Remove mixture from the microwave, stir one last time and pour it into the baked pie crust.
- Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
- 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.
Ouma’s Famous Coconut ‘Freeze & Bake’ Cookies
There’s nothing better or more comforting than being welcomed by the smell of freshly baked cookies. These cookies are no exception…at least so I’ve been told. I love hearing stories about my mom’s childhood growing up with her three brothers. I always heard about these mysterious cookies that my Ouma (my mom’s mother) used to make that could be frozen and later baked when they were needed. Unfortunately, I also heard that the cookies never lasted long enough to be baked at a later time, heck they didn’t even last long enough to make it to the oven! We all love eating cookie dough and from the stories I’ve heard, these cookies are even better unbaked and were consumed long before the oven was done pre-heating. I hope when you make these that some of them actually make it to the oven, but if not, that’s okay too. Enjoy!
- 2 cups coconut
- 1/2 lb shortening (just more than 1 cup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup brown sugar ( or 1/2 white, 1/2 brown for sweeter cookies)
- Using a stand or hand mixer whisk together the shortening and sugar until creamy and well combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to mixture and whisk/mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Add coconut to flour mixture and stir until mixed through.
- With the stand or hand mixer on low, slowly add the flour-coconut mixture to the batter until well combined and dough forms. Do not over mix.
- Pour dough onto a flat surface and form the dough into logs/rolls, approximately 1 inch thick.
- Wrap logs with wax paper and freeze (can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months)
- When ready to bake, remove rolls of dough from the freezer and preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Cut the dough into 1/2 inch slices & place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake cookies at 400 F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
I hope Ouma’s Coconut Cookies bring you as much joy as it did for my family.
South African Amarula Fridge Tart: Dessert with Kick
Those of you who aren’t South Africans are probably wondering what on earth Amarula is. Amarula is a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree through a process of fermentation. The sacred, protected African Marula Tree only bears fruit for a short time in the hot summer months. The real challenge though, is harvesting the fruits before the elephants arrive, who love the fruit almost as much as South Africans love the liqueur that’s made from the fruit. An Amarula Fridge Tart is another staple dessert in South Africa because it’s easy to make, perfect for any occasion, and absolutely irresistible. If you’re worried you won’t find it in the States, just check with your local liquor store, most are able to have it shipped if they do not already carry it. Give it a try!
- 1 box of graham crackers or coconut cookies (Tennis Biscuits)
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 300 ml Amarula (this is where the kick comes from)
- 3 Cups Milk
- 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 heaping tablespoon of flour
- 4 eggs, separated
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- Place a layer of cookies on the bottom of a 9×13 dish or foil pan.
- Drizzle 100 ml Amarula over the cookies.
- Open the condensed milk and place large spoonfuls on top of each cookie, then spread/flatten with the back of a tablespoon.
- Add another layer of cookies and sprinkle with 100 ml Amarula.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan
- Take ½ a cup of the warmed milk and mix with the sugar, cornstarch and flour until a paste forms.
- Bring the remaining milk to boil and slowly add the paste to it, whisking constantly (that way you will avoid getting lumps in your mixture)
- Slowly bring the mixture back to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. (Be careful that it doesn’t burn.)
- In a bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks very well using a hand or stand mixer.
- Then, slowly pour some (about 1/2-3/4 of a cup) of the warm milk mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly. (This is also as to warm it slightly and is referred to as tempering)
- Slowly add the rest of the hot mixture from the stove to the tempered yokes. Mix well and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form (it should be light and fluffy)
- Add the remaining 100ml Amarula to the egg whites and fold into warm mixture.
- Pour this mixture on top of the cookies
- Crumble up the remaining cookies and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the tart.
- Allow it to cool and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
I hope you enjoy it!
*Original recipe from sapromo.com (SA Promo Magazine)
South African Peppermint Crisp Tart: A Triple Threat Winning Recipe
I know what you’re thinking, what on earth is a triple threat winning recipe? Well, it’s simple:
- It’s ALWAYS a crowd please and the first dessert that’s finished (most of the time you’re really mad about this because the longer a Peppermint Crisp sits in the fridge the better it gets.)
- It’s extremely simple and quick to make for those days when you have to scrap together a last minute dessert.
- It’s downright delicious and is sure to become a go-to recipe that you can make anywhere in the world with a few modifications. (Plus, it works for all occasions and during every season).
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine definitely is! Don’t take my word for how good it is though, try it for yourself following the recipe below:
- 1 can caramel condensed milk (La Lechera Dolce De Leche for those in the US)
- 1 package of either coconut cookies or graham crackers (Tennis Buscuits in SA)
- 1 large tub of Cool Whip (or heavy cream if you want to put in extra effort)
- 1/2 bag of mint chocolates (like Dove Mint & Dark or Andes Mints)
- Using a grater or food processor, grate the chocolate until it’s in small pieces and set aside (be careful not to make it too fine that it turns into chocolate dust. You want some texture.)
- In a mixing bowl, add Cool Whip, can of caramel condensed milk, & about 1/2 of the grated chocolate. Mix with hand mixer until smooth and well combined.
- In the bottom of a 9×13 dish layer the cookies. (If I’m really lazy, going to a braai or event I’ll use a foil pan that I can throw away for easy clean up.)
- Add 1/2 of the mixture from step 2 and spread over cookies.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of your leftover grated chocolate over the filling.
- Repeat steps 3 – 6.
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
If you don’t believe me when I say it’s one of the best South African desserts around I dare you to try it for yourself. Make it this weekend and have it be the most talked about dessert by all your friends and family!
South African Sausage Rolls
There’s nothing better than biting into a freshly baked sausage roll.The best part is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make. There’s no surprise why it’s known as one of the most popular snacks in South Africa (to find out what other foods make the list of best and most popular snacks check out my latest blog Top 10 Saffa Snacks .) Below you’ll find the recipe for sausage rolls and I promise you it will become a staple in your household.
- 2 rolls of Jimmy Dean’s rolls of ground sausage
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 large onion, grated
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg, beaten
- Store bought puff pastry, thawed
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine ground sausage, breadcrumbs, grated onion, Worcestershire, and egg in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- Using a rolling pin, slightly roll out dough and cut in half. Set aside.
- Form mixture into the form of a log (it should be long enough to fit the length of the longest side of the halved puff pastry)
- Place formed log on side of dough and roll in the form of a sausage until the dough covers the meat.
- Brush water lightly onto edge of the dough and seal together.
- Repeat until all of your ingredients are used.
- Place the rolls, sealed edges down, on a lined baking sheet.
- Using a knife, cut diagonal slits across to top to allow air to flow.
- Beat an egg and brush a thin over top of sausage rolls.
- Cut rolls in either small or long pieces, depending on occasion (larger pieces for lunch, smaller pieces for appetizers or snacks)
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve hot or cold.