Cape Town is a beautiful city. It sprawls out from the city center round the lower slopes of Table Mountain with the ocean on both sides of the Cape Peninsula, so you are never far from a beach. Outside the city are hills full of wine estates and beyond that a ring of tall rugged mountains.
I’ve been doing a lot of exploring on my vacation here, driving out of the city to the Winelands around it to taste some of the great South African wines and eat at the restaurants. With you in mind I’ve been looking out for some typical South African desserts that would be easy enough to try at home.
There are plenty to choose from, not just at the restaurants but in the farm stalls that sell fresh produce and baked goods and often have a coffee shop too. The other day I stopped for a break after having driven over a steep mountain pass and with my coffee I had a slice of Milk Tart.
This is quite a simple dessert, a pastry case filled with a just-set creamy filling slightly flavoured with cinnamon. It’s sweet but not too sweet, and has just the right creamy consistency to be satisfying without being too rich.
The first recipe I was given sounded quite complicated but then a friend gave me this recipe for a Crustless Milk Tart, which you make without the pastry and which can be mixed together all in one go in the food processor. It has all the flavour and comfort factor of the classic milk tart but is really quick and simple to make, in fact my friend’s 8 year old daughter showed me how! She said they often make it to use up their extra milk or to take to school bake sales.
South African Crustless Milk Tart
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups milk
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F
All you need: measuring cups, food processor, buttered pie dish about 9″ in diameter
Put everything except the cinnamon into the food processor and blitz it all to a smooth batter. Pour it into the buttered pie dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is firm. It will set more firm as it cools.
You can eat this hot or cold. It will have a creamier texture needing a spoon when it is hot, but will set firm enough to eat in slices with your fingers once it is cold.