Dairy… It’s a love hate relationship for me. I love it, it hates me. In fact, I think it love-hates me, and can’t actually make up its mind. Either way, I am of the moderately informed opinion that dairy isn’t really ideal for human consumption at all, but chances are, unless you are hugely intolerant/allergic to the stuff, you won’t really care about a little bit of discomfort for the sake of the dairy!
Take, for example, the classic South African Milktart: 71% milk (excluding the crust, which can be omitted for the grain/gluten-free). I could honestly eat the whole thing. And yes, I would over-dramatically hate my life afterwards, and yes, I will possibly go into some form of hyperglycemic shock (from the 12 teaspoons of sugar), and yes, I would insist on running 10km every day for the next month, to try work it off and make myself feel less guilty for the gluttony, but this little local tart can be so worth it… (I say this as if I haven’t eaten a whole milk tart by myself before… This is a judgment free space people!)
I’ve been on a quest to find a recipe that doesn’t involve either condensed milk or custard powder. This one fails in that quest, but succeeds in every other tasty way. Of course, my search will continue, and many milktarts will be quality tested on the way, so it can’t be all that bad.
- 2 eggs
- 10ml flour
- 10ml custard powder
- 20ml cornflour
- 60ml sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 5ml vanilla essence
- 565ml milk
- 30g butter
- 1 baked pastry case or biscuit crust
- A little cinnamon
- Beat the eggs, then add the dry ingredients (flour, custard powder, cornflour, sugar and salt) and vanilla, and beat well
- Heat milk and butter until just boiling, then turn down to a slight simmer and gradually add the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Make sure not to let anything stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens
- Pour mixture it a pie shell (biscuit crust or pre-baked), and sprinkle with cinnamon
- Leave to cool (or scald your tongue on the better version of warm homemade custard)
Nothing compares to a good fudge recipe – one that doesn’t crack and crumble and break your teeth, but also one that is so soft that it practically didn’t set. No, there has to be the perfect balance of stability and melt in your mouth softness. And this old family recipe gets that just right.
This is one of those “handwritten-in-pencil-and-covered-in-coffee-stains-and-who-knows-what-else-from-the-kitchen” recipes. I got it from my bestie’s grandmother’s recipe book. It was the treat she would bring to school for those of us who are lucky to be her friend. She doesn’t make me fudge anymore, but I am still blessed beyond measure that I still get to count her as one of my closest. I promise not all my relationships are based on whether or not you feed me. It is a factor though…
- 1 large can of condensed milk
- 400g sugar
- 35ml golden syrup
- 75ml water
- 60g butter
- 5ml vanilla essence
- Put sugar and water into a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until dissolved
- Add butter and syrup, stir until melted
- Pour in the condensed milk and stir until boiling
- Simmer slowly for 20-25 minutes, stirring continuously
- Remove from stove and stir in the vanilla essence
- Pour into a greased pan. Leave to cool. Cut into squares