When I first moved from Switzerland to Cape Town, South Africa, it was a huge culture shock. You circle the airport before landing and you can see all the shacks of the poor people nearby. Yet once you near the city centre, the view does become brighter and one is met by skyscrapers and busy roads and little quaint coffee shops and restaurant all around.
South Africans love their food, especially their sausages, also known here as ‘Boerewors,’ and any other type of meat. Families here take any opportunity to get together and have a big meal in someone’s garden under the sun.
One of the favorite desserts you will find at any of these gatherings is ‘Melktart’, or in English 'Milk tart.' The name derives from the Dutch word for milk and the recipe is said to have influences of the Dutch settlers, that came to our shores along the Cape of Good Hope and brought their spices from Indonesia and the Cape Malays.
This rich, sweet tart is made of milk and puff pastry, sprinkled with cinnamon. The tart offers a sweet sensation and is mouth-watering. There are many recipes for this particular dessert, but the taste is always similar. The creamy, thick, custard filling, topped with cinnamon spice is light and delicate and the pastry complements it well. Melktart is not too sweet and the filling has a consistency of thick Bulgarian yogurt baked in delicate pastry.
The tart is a unique South African dish and is found at any traditional South African event or market.