The Pastry

Traditionally Puff Pastry is used. Buy a sheet of good quality frozen puff pastry and roll it out to about 3mm thick.

I personally prefer using 4 sheets of phyllo pastry painted generously with melted butter. Yes I know its not traditional, but it is super light and crisp.

Line a 20 cm pie plate with the pastry.

For the filling you need

280ml full cream milk

4 sticks cinnamon

3-4 strips of naartjie (manadarin orange) zest

40ml butter

25ml cornflour

50ml cake flour

125ml milk

3 eggs, separated

1ml salt

5ml vanilla extract or paste

Ground cinnamon to finish

To prepare

Heat the 280ml milk and add the cinnamon, the naartjie zest and the butter. At this stage you can turn off the heat, make a few phone calls …. the longer you leave the flavours to infuse the better! Strain the milk just before you follow the next step.

Blend the flour and cornflour to a paste with the remaining milk. Add this to the infused milk and stir over heat until it is smooth, thick and glossy. It must boil for about a minute, stirring continuously.

Combine the egg yolks and the sugar and add this to the slightly cooled paste. Finally stir in the vanilla and the salt.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold them into the above mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the pastry case.

Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes, then, reduce the heat to 180°C for 15-20 minutes. The surface should be pale golden and the mixture should not ‘wobble’. Turn the oven off and allow the tart to cool down in the oven.

To serve

Before serving dust the surface with cinnamon. I sometimes use a stencil to create a decorative leaf effect!

Serve slightly warm. I like serving milk tart with stewed naartjie segments.

For this you need

2-3 seedless naartjies (mandarin oranges)

Peel and separate the segments.

Place them in a saucepan with 125ml sugar, 125ml water and 50ml Van der Hum (naartjie liqueur) or brandy.

Bring the syrup to the boil and cook until the segments become glazed and glossy.

Serve a few warm segments and syrup with the milk tart.