Melktert and missing home


There is really nothing you can do about being homesick. And December is homesick month for so many people, myself included. Not much you can do if you don’t actually have a trip home booked, so the next best thing (for me) is to cook a dish that evokes great memories.

My family had a beach house for most of my childhood (still do), near a picturesque town called Hermanus (sort of like Torquay here near Melbourne) and in the main street there used to be a bakery that sold melktert (custard tart) made only by one lady. We spent every December holiday in this area and the whole family were so hooked on these melkterte, that after a while my mom worked out exactly when they got delivered to the little tuisnywerheid (home-baked goods store) and swooped in on them whilst still hot, with us in the back of the car carefully babysitting the still-warm tarts back home.

They were made of the most exceptional puff pastry, and the lightest custard imaginable, with just a wisp of cinnamon on top. Incomparable. I have not eaten any melktert like that since, and the lady and her baking excellence have long gone.

For the tarts above  followed a recipe by Madeline Bonvini-Hamel, which worked great but I needed a better tart plate, which I’ll get next time to make the deeper tart I remember.

For now that will have to do until I get to see the view below on the farm in February.


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