Milk Tart is a simple but delicious dessert that hits just the right spot of sweetness, creaminess and richness with it's milk custard filling.

Milk Tart

Milk Tart is a simple but delicious dessert that hits the right spot of sweetness and richness with it's milk custard filling.

Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine South African
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10
Author sanna


For The Tart Dough

  • 1 cup butter, softened but not warm or greasy 2 sticks
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 4 tsp water cold
  • 2 cups all purpose flour sifted

For the Milk Custard Filling

  • 2 and 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar


Make the Tart Crust

  1. In a bowl of your stand mixer, Cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment until mixture is fluffy. Add the egg yolks and half of the water and continue to mix briefly. 

  2. Add the sifted flour gradually while mixing and then add the remaining water. Mix briefly until mixture looks like it is just about to come together. Turn dough on a floured surface and knead briefly just to form a cohesive dough. Shape dough into a disc. Wrap this in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or over night.

Prepare and Bake the Tart Crust

  1. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes after you take it out of the refrigerator. On a floured board, use a rolling pin to pat the dough to flatten it slightly, then roll it until it is about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Place a tart pan that is 11 inches in diameter over the flattened dough and trace a circle around the tart pan that is 3/4 inch larger.

  2. Cut through the traced circle. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Gently lift the circular dough by wrapping it around your rolling pin and position it in the center of the tart pan. Fit the dough on the sides of the pan by molding it in with your fingers. Cut  the excess dough on the edges with scissors. Let this chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the tart shell with parchment paper, covering the entire surface and the edges of the dough. Place uncooked rice on the hollow of the tart shell, filling up to the sides. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 30-35 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights during the last 10 minutes of baking. The crust is done once the edges are golden and the surface lightly browned. Set aside tart crust as you make the filling.

Make the Milk Custard

  1. In medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour and cornstarch until the powders are dissolved. Add the butter and set the pan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it is almost at the boiling stage and the butter has completely melted. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and continue to stir mixture over medium heat until it is slightly thicker than a custard.

  2. Pour filling into the prepared tart crust and spread evenly. Once the mixture has come to room temperature, chill it in the fridge uncovered for at least 4 hours to overnight. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top and serve. Best eaten the same day of serving.

Recipe Notes

Tart crust recipe from Sweet pie dough, World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey.

Milk Tart filling adapted from