(Makes 2 large tarts)

I got this recipe years ago from a renowned home industry baker. I had taken along my Home Economics students and she very kindly shared all her tips with us. Although this recipe may at first seem complicated, once you’ve made it a couple of times it will become quick and easy. The end result is so good you will never use another milk tart recipe again!

Flaky pastry

4 x 250 ml (520 g)       cake flour

7.5 ml                          salt

4 ml                             cream of tartar

500 g                           butter (ice cold)

2                                  egg yolks

250 ml                         ice-cold water

Cornflour (Maizena®) for dusting

1 egg beaten with 30 ml milk (egg wash)


  • Sift the flour, salt and cream of tartar together.
  • Grate 350 g of the butter into the flour and mix lightly. Rub in the butter into dry ingredients
  • Beat the egg yolks and water together and add to the dry ingredients to make a dough.
  • Lightly dust the work surface with cornflour and roll out the dough into a large rectangle.
  • Divide the remaining 150 g butter into four portions and soften slightly.
  • Spread one portion of butter over one half of the dough. Fold over the dough and seal the edges.
  • Repeat three times using the rest of the butter, so that you end up with a compact parcel of dough.
  • Refrigerate until needed.
  • Roll out the dough and use it to line two greased tart pans.
  • Trim the edges of dough and brush with the egg wash. Make a thin strip from the trimmed dough and use it to line the edge to give an attractive appearance to the final milktart
  • Place the tart shells in the freezer for about 15 minutes before adding the filling and baking. This prevents the shells from shrinking during baking and the dough from becoming soggy.



1.35 litres                    milk

20 ml                           butter

175 ml (90 g)              cake flour

60 ml (30 g)                 cornflour (Maizena®)

2.5 ml                          salt

125 ml (100 g)             sugar

4                                  eggs, separated

2 ml                             lemon or almond essence

1 ml                             cream of tartar

60 ml (50 g)                 castor sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 210 °C.
  • Heat 1.1 litres of the milk and the butter in a saucepan on medium heat until just before boiling point. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Mix the flour, cornflour, salt and half the sugar together. Add the remaining 250 ml cold milk and mix until smooth.
  • Mix the hot milk into the flour mixture and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
  • Return to the stove on low heat and stir until it thickens and starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
  • Beat the egg yolks, essence and the remaining half of the sugar together well. Add the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture and stir in quickly until well combined.
  • Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and the castor sugar. Continue whisking until it reaches meringue stage. Gently fold the meringue into the milk custard.
  • Spoon the custard filling into the ice-cold tart shells. Do not let the filling stand; use it immediately.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 180 °C and bake for a further 10 minutes.


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