we have a winner

i have finally worked out a milk tart recipe i like. in order to develop such a recipe i had to message my aunt who spoke to her neighbour who makes the best damn milk tart i’ve ever had. for the record the neighbour in question is not your typical afrikaans tannie (south african word for aunty). she is in fact a very sweet muslim lady.

i have tried on a few occasions to make milk tart. i have never been completely happy with the result. the insights that this new recipe afforded me allowed me to change my approach to making the filling. i didn’t follow the recipe but it provided some much needed guidance on how to go about taming the beast…or well…just making the tart…you know what i’m saying.

the key difference from the ones i’ve made before:

  1. fully bake the tart shell
  2. cook the filling on the stove
  3. the custard is made with whole eggs. none of that separating the eggs, making the custard with the yolks and then folding in the whipped whites after. i love this kind of simplicity.
  4. assemble and leave to cool, no further baking required

so as you know, i had some left over pastry in the fridge from the last batch of pâte sablèe i made. i took out of the fridge to warm up a bit so that it was easier to roll out. once it was more pliable i rolled it out between two sheets of baking paper before returning it to fridge to cool a bit more. cold pastry are easier to put into a tart pan.

once the pastry was chilled i peeled off one of the sheets of baking paper and placed the pastry (remaining baking sheet side up) onto the tart pan.

i worked the pastry into the part pan and trimmed off the excess.

i then filled the pan with baking beans and blind baked for 12 minutes. i then removed the baking beans before baking for a further 12 minutes. at which point the pastry looked like so…

img_4064.jpg

the look of that tart shell pleased me no end.

i then got going on the filling.

i brought 3 cups of milk and 3 tablespoons of butter to boil in a pot. while it was heating up i combined 3 eggs, 3/4 cup castor sugar and 3.5 tablespoons of maizena (cornflour). i whisked this mixture to ensure that it was perfectly smooth.

when the milk had come to a gentle boil i poured some of the heated milk into the egg mixture and whisked again before returning the whole lot back to the pot. i kept stirring with the whisk. the mixture thickened pretty quickly but this time i was determined to let the eggs come to the required temperature before taking it off the heat. i kept whisking until the “custard” started to bubble.

i was pretty certain at this point that the mixture had achieved the required minimum temperature of 71 deg C 🙂

i was also satisfied that the mixture was thick enough. the whisk left a distinct pattern in the custard as i mixed.

i poured the cooked filling into the baked tart shell and dusted lightly with cinnamon sugar.

 

i am waiting for the milk tart to cool. a quick wobble test shows that it is setting but it’s still too warm to cut in to.

i’ll report back on the tasting tomorrow. have you got any milk tart tricks you’d like to share?

lessons learnt: just because you only know a certain way to so something doesn’t mean its the only way. reach out to people, ask questions…try new things. you may surprise yourself.

 

 

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