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A freshly baked melktert
Place of originSouth Africa
Main ingredientsPastry crust, milk, flour, sugar, eggs

Melktert (/ˈmɛlktɛt/, Afrikaans for milk tart) is a South African dessert consisting of a sweet pastry crust containing a custard filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs. The ratio of milk to eggs is higher than in a traditional Portuguese custard tart or Chinese egg tart, resulting in a lighter texture and a stronger milk flavour.[1]

The dessert originated among settlers at the Dutch Cape Colony in the 17th century, and is believed to have developed from the Dutch mattentaart, a cheesecake-like dessert[2] which was included in the cookbook Een Notabel Boexcken Van Cokeryen (A Notable Book of Cookery) published by Thomas van der Noot around 1514.[3] Some recipes require that the custard be baked in the crust, while others call for the custard to be prepared in advance, and then placed in the crust before serving.[3] Cinnamon is often sprinkled over its surface, and the milk used for the custard may also be infused with a cinnamon stick before preparation. A staple at church fetes and home industries, and commonplace in South African supermarkets,[3] melktert may either be served chilled or at room temperature.[3]


  1. ^ "It's the simplicity of taste that makes milk tart great". Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition). Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  2. ^ Mungwani, Uwive (13 September 2018). "A HISTORY OF JOHANNESBURG IN 10 DISHES". Roads & Kingdoms. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Mosia, Lebohang (27 February 2019). "The sweet and short history of good ol' milk tart". IOL News. Retrieved 30 September 2019.

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