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Melktert is a South-African "pie". Its name means literally "milk tart" or "milk pie."

It is a pie with a crust and a bland custard as the filling, baked in a round pie tin. After baking, it is often dusted with cinnamon. Some versions don't use a crust; but many people say that if there's no crust, it's not a Melktert.

The custard filling is made from milk, sugar and eggs, thickened with flour, but everyone has their own recipe. Some like to flavour it with lemon, or spices. The custard in some versions can be like a foam mattress. Other versions have a more wobbly, custard-like filling.

Some recipes have you add the eggs whole (though shelled of course); others have you separate the eggs, beat the egg whites, and then added the yolks and beaten egg white.

The traditional crust is a short-crust, but many people nowadays like to use ready-made puff pastry dough from the store instead.

Melktert appears at just about every bake sale. It's so omnipresent in South Africa that some people are sick of it, but they are afraid to say that out loud because you are sure to offend someone.

It is served in slices, chilled or room-temperature.

History Notes

Melktert seems to have come straight from Dutch Medieval cooking, via the Dutch settlers in the Cape in the 1600s. Some people trace its origin back to a dish described by Thomas van der Noot. in 1510 in his recipe book, "Een notabel boexcken van cokeryen" (A Notable Book of Cookery), the same dish that the origin of Mattentaart is credited to.


[1] Claassens, Hester Wilhelmina. Die geskiedenis van Boerekos 1652-1806. Doctoral Thesis, Historical and Heritage Studies Department, University of Pretoria. 10 September 2003.

See also:


Cheesecake Pans; Mattentaart; Melktert

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Oulton, Randal. "Melktert." CooksInfo.com. Published 29 September 2010; revised 29 September 2010. Web. Accessed 04/19/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/melktert>.

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