It does sound a little strange... I admit. It's kind of like custard, but with a bottom crust.
My first encounter with Milk Tart was at a South African braai, or BBQ, along a beach in Sierra Leone, West Africa. (That alone is a story for another time...) As a non-South African, I got invited because the Sailor and I were dating. The day was filled with all manner of South African good eats, but I was particularly taken with the Milk Tart -- especially when the Sailor mentioned how much he liked it.
I cornered the gal who made it and said she must give me the recipe.
While I'm not a fan of haphazardly posting other people's recipes online (there is somewhat of a copyright controversy in the blogging world) I feel assured that this is a fairly standard Milk Tart recipe. And since she gave me scribbles from memory on how to make it, I'm quite certain she didn't remember who passed it on to her. I have made some minor changes to the recipe (mainly more detailed instructions... the scribbles were a little vague!)
Now I share it with you. Go forth... try something new. Pretend it's summer, and you're having a braai. Unless of course you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, there is no need to pretend.
SOUTH AFRICAN FRIDGE MILK TART
1 Packet of Marie Biscuits (These are not always easy to find in the USA. I found 'Goya Maria' ones that are the same. I have also used animal crackers in the past, with great success!)
1/2 cup of butter
1 tin of condensed milk
3 tins of whole milk (roughly 3.5 cups - I actually just use the condensed milk tin to measure the regular milk while I'm making it)
3 tablespoons of maizena (cornstarch)
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
cinnamon for sprinkling
Melt the Butter
Crush the Marie biscuits.
You can crush them even more, but I like my crust to have some substance.
Add the melted butter to the biscuits. Press the mixture into a large rectangular pan (like a 9"x13") or two or three smaller dishes.
Refrigerate the crust.
Heat the milk, maizena, and egg yolks on medium high heat. Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Stir until the mixture thickens. This may take about 10 minutes.
As soon as it thickens, add the condensed milk, salt and vanilla. Stir together. Fold in the egg whites.
Stir a bit more until thick again and reduce heat. The mixture burns quickly, so watch it carefully.
Pour the mixture onto the refrigerated crust. At this point, the mixture may still be runnier than you expect, but it will continue to thicken once it cools. (And, as a side note, if it never thickens, it still tastes good... it is just sloppier to eat and has more of a pudding consistency.)
Sprinkle cinnamon all over and then refrigerate until chilled.
Enjoy! Or, as they say in Afrikaans... Lekker eet!
(Still craving more? I'm one of many bloggers on the Pyrex Collective III blog. Go here for my post on how I got that gorgeous Butterprint blue dish holding the Marie biscuits. You can also see more of my vintage refrigerator dish obsession here.)