South African Pumpkin Tart

South African Pumpkin Tart

I want to explain myself: this is a TART because a PIE usually has a “lid” or covering of pastry of a sort. Soooo, this dish might remind one of pumpkin pie, but strictly spoken it is a tart. What makes it even more unique is the fact that it is a South African Tart. It has an earthiness from the pumpkin that is utterly yum and the cinnamon that is sprinkled on the hot tart, gives that wonderful homely warmth that is truly South African and perfect for winter meals.

This is the easiest tart you will ever make and be warned; keep a copy of the recipe because you will be asked for it!

250ml flour

250ml sugar

5ml salt

750ml cooked, well-drained pumpkin

60ml butter, melted

250ml cream

3 eggs, lightly beaten

5ml ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Lightly spray or grease a 25cm ceramic pie dish.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.

Add the sugar and pumpkin and give the mixture a stir.

Add the melted butter and cream to a wide mouthed jug and whisk together. Add the eggs and give the mixture another thorough whisk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and mix together really well.

Pour the mixture into the pie dish and bake for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle an even layer of cinnamon over the tart while it is hot.

In winter I like serving this pumpkin tart warm as a side dish to a meal but it is equally delicious in summer, when served at room temperature.

Traditional Sweet Dumplings/Souskluitjies

Traditional Sweet Dumplings/Souskluitjies

250ml flour
5ml baking powder
1,2ml salt
45ml butter, cubed
2 eggs
15ml sugar
2,5ml salt
2,5ml ground cinnamon
125ml butter, melted
ground cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle over

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl.
Add the butter and rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips.
Add the eggs and 15ml sugar to another bowl and whisk together.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix together.
Fill a large saucepan at least 7-8cm deep with hot, simmering water.
Add 2,5ml salt and 2,5ml cinnamon to the water.
Spoon a teaspoonful of batter into the water. Add another 4 dumplings – do not crowd the saucepan- and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a heatproof dish.
Drizzle with the melted butter and some cinnamon-sugar.
Keep the dumplings warm while you cook the rest.
Serve warm with extra cinnamon-sugar.

Oxtail Stew with Dumplings

Oxtail Stew with Dumplings

2.5 – 3kg oxtail
vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
4 clove of garlic, minced
60ml flour
5 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 bay leaves
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomato
250ml red wine
1,5l beef stock
Worcestershire sauce

250ml flour
7,5ml baking powder
2ml salt
60g butter, cut into small cubes
10ml dried mixed herbs
60-80ml milk

For the stew:
Preheat your oven to 220℃.
Add the oxtail to 2 large roasting tins and drizzle with the vegetable oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the oxtail for 20-25 minutes, until beautifully caramelised and golden. Set aside.
Place a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add some vegetable oil and then add the onions. Cook until soft.
Add the garlic and stir-fry for one minute.
Sprinkle over the flour and stir while cooking for another minute.
Now add the carrots, bay leaves, tomatoes, red wine, beef stock and about 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
Add the oxtail and whatever pan juices you have and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and partly cover with a lid.
Simmer the oxtail for 3 hours, stirring every now and then.
Remove the lid and check the consistency of the sauce – if it is too watery, simmer without the lid for 20-30 minutes longer. The sauce should be thick and rich and the meat should be fork tender.

For the dumplings:
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl and stir through.
Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the herbs and enough milk to form a soft dough.
Spoon teaspoonful of the dough onto the oxtail stew and cover with a lid.
Simmer for 15 minutes without opening the lid.

Serve the oxtail on fragrant rice.

Drinking Milktart

Drinking Milktart

When you are too impatient or lazy to make a traditional milktart but you really, absolutely, must have one……

150g sugar
45ml cornstarch
3 egg yolks
700ml + 50ml milk
7,5ml vanilla
ground cinnamon for dusting

Add the sugar and cornstarch to a mixing bowl and stir through.
Add the egg yolks and 50ml milk and mix together to make a smooth very runny paste. Set aside.
Add the 700ml milk to a saucepan set over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Pour the egg and milk mixture into the boiling milk in a thin stream while whisking vigorously.
Turn the heat down to medium, keep stirring and wait for the mixture to thicken.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the custard into cups and dust with some ground cinnamon.
Serve slightly warm.

Japanese Beef Fillet

Japanese Beef Fillet

one beef fillet

80ml soy sauce
80ml brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic, minced
15ml fresh ginger, minced
30ml sesame oil
30ml wasabi paste
5ml fish sauce

Place the fillet in the smallest container that it fits into comfortably.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over the fillet.
Cover the container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
Take the beef from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking it.
* Turn the beef throughout its marinating time so that the entire fillet is covered with marinade.
Cook the fillet on a rotisserie over a medium-warm fire for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Wrap the meat in 2 layers of aluminium foil and rest it for 15 minutes.
Slice the fillet into very thin slices and spoon over the leftover marinade.

Vetkoek – Magwinya

Vetkoek – Magwinya

This is a traditional South African food that is popular as a quick meal and often eaten as is, filled with minced meat or with cheese and syrup. Vetkoek literally means “fat cakes” as it is basically a deep-fried bread. Magwinya is simply shaped differently, smaller than tennis balls and often found in Townships or sold as a on-the-go breakfast at taxi ranks.

10g dried yeast
900g cake flour
10ml salt
10ml sugar
vegetable oil for frying

Pour 250ml of warm water (tepid) into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir to dissolve the yeast and set aside.
Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Run the mixer on low speed and add the yeast mixture.
Now add some more lukewarm water (about 400ml) until the mixture comes together in a soft dough.
Knead on medium speed for 6 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside for 90 minutes.
Knock back the dough by kneading it by hand for 1 minute.
Pour about 2 litres of vegetable oil into a saucepan over medium-high heat.
If you are making Magwinya, pinch off some dough and shape it into a ball, about the size of a golf ball.
If you are making vetkoek, pinch off twice the amount of dough, roll into a ball and then press it flat between your hands.
Place the shaped dough on an oiled tray until you have shaped all the dough and the oil is warm.
Test the oil with a small piece of dough: if the dough starts bubbling and rises when dropped into the oil, it is hot enough.
Deep-fry the magwinya/vetkoek in the oil, turning them often for about 3 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown.
Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve warm with mince/ragou or grated cheddar cheese and golden syrup.