Milk Tart Hand Pies

Milk Tart Hand Pies

420g flour
10ml baking powder
5ml salt
5ml sugar
220g butter, grated
190ml milk
vegetable oil for frying

40g corn flour
50ml + 450ml milk
4 egg yolks
50g + 50g caster sugar
5ml ground cinnamon
5ml vanilla

For the pastry:
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar to a mixing bowl.
Add the grated butter and rub the mixture between your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Drizzle the milk over the mixture and bring it together with your hands.
Shape the pastry into a ball, slice it in half and flatten each into a flat disc.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

For the filling:
Add the corn flour to a large mixing bowl and stir in 50ml of the milk.
Add the egg yolks and 50g caster sugar and whisk together. Set aside.
Pour the 450ml milk into a small saucepan and add the other 50g caster sugar and ground cinnamon to it.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Take it from the heat as tiny bubbles start to appear around the edges.
Drizzle the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously.
Now pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place it on medium-low heat.
Stir continuously until thickened.
Allow to cook for 30 seconds before removing from the heat.
Add the vanilla and mix through.
Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl and then place plastic wrap directly on its surface.
Allow to cool completely.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough to a 5mm thickness.
Cut 12 circles with a 12cm diameter from the dough.
Spoon 30ml of the filling on the pastry circle.
Wet the edges of the circle with water and fold the dough over into a half-moon shape.
Seal and crimp the edges with a fork.
Refrigerate the pies for 30 minutes.
Heat 6cm vegetable oil in a saucepan and fry 3 pies at a time for 6 minutes, flipping them over every now and then.
Drain on paper towels.
The hand pies may be served as is or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Naked Milk Tart

Naked Milk Tart

This is a crustless milk tart, easy to put together and produces one large (38cm x 26cm) or two medium (28cm x 20cm) tarts.

6 eggs
375ml sugar
90g butter, melted
375ml flour
7,5ml baking powder
a pinch of salt
1,5litres of milk
15ml vanilla
ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 38cm x 26cm ceramic dish with cooking spray.
Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
Turn the mixer to a low speed and drizzle in the melted butter.
Turn off the mixer.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and turn the mixer back on to a low speed until the ingredients are incorporated.
Add the vanilla to the milk and drizzle the milk in to the batter with the engine running.
Scrape the batter into the prepared ceramic dish.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour.
Take the milk tart from the oven and immediately sift over some ground cinnamon.
Set aside for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Keep refrigerated.

Turkish eggs

Turkish eggs

You may poach or fry the eggs for this traditional recipe.

250ml Greek yoghurt
1 clove of garlic, minced
30ml chopped mint leaves
grated rind of 1 lemon

45ml olive oil
30g butter
5ml smoked paprika
5ml chilli flakes
5ml Szechuan pepper
1ml ground cumin

4 eggs

Add the yoghurt, garlic, mint and lemon rind to a small bowl.
Season with salt and whisk to mix.
Divide the mixture between 2 serving plates and set aside.

Pour the olive oil into a small pan, add the butter and allow to melt over a medium heat.
Add the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, Szechuan pepper and cumin to the pan and stir around for a minute or so.
Take the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place a saucepan on high heat and fill it 10cm deep with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a very low simmer.
Crack one egg at a time, into a cup and gently slide it into the simmering water.
Wait about 20 seconds before adding the next egg.
Poach the eggs for 3 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon and set 2 eggs on the yoghurt mixture.
Spoon the spicy butter over the eggs and drizzle the rest on the plate.
Serve with small pita breads to mop up the sauce.

Traditional Clafoutis

Traditional Clafoutis

125ml sugar
125ml flour
3 eggs
5ml vanilla
30ml butter, melted
250ml milk
enough pitted cherries to cover the bottom of a pie/flan dish

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and grease a ceramic pie/flan dish.
Add the sugar and flour to a mixing bowl.
Whisk the eggs, vanilla, melted butter and milk together in a wide-mouth jug.
Slowly pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients while whisking.
Fill the bottom of the pie dish with an even layer of cherries and pour the batter over the cherries.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
The clafoutis will puff up in the oven and fall back on itself as it cools.
Dust with icing sugar once cooled.

Orzotto Alla Norma

Orzotto Alla Norma

2 aubergines
olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomato
15ml fresh thyme, chopped
300g orzo
100g parmesan cheese, grated
a handful of fresh basil
1 Burrata

Preheat your oven to 200℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Slice the aubergine into discs, spread them out on the prepared baking sheet and generously drizzle with olive oil.
Scatter the cherry tomatoes over the aubergine and bake for 30 minutes.
Place a saucepan on medium-high heat and add some olive oil.
Fry the onion and garlic until soft.
Add the chopped tomato and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Cook the orzo according to packet instructions.
Drain the orzo and add it to the tomato sauce.
Add the grated parmesan and stir through.
Spoon the orzo into a serving dish and top with the aubergine, roasted tomato and burrata.
Serve with fresh basil leaves scattered on top.

Ginger Biscuit Cups

Ginger Biscuit Cups

500g self-raising flour
10ml cream of tartar
10ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml ground ginger
2ml salt
170g butter, cubed
170g golden syrup
350g brown sugar
2 eggs
12 chocolate balls, halved
250ml cream, whipped

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 24-hole mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
Sift together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and salt.
Add the cubed butter and rub in with your fingers. Set aside.
Add the syrup and sugar to a saucepan set of medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has almost completely dissolved. The mixture should be very runny. Cool for 5 minutes.
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and add it to the syrup mixture while whisking.
Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly – there should be no dry flour left.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place in the muffin pans. Flatten the balls with your fingers and then make an indent with a small shot glass/the back of a lemon juicer. See video below.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately press the indents like you did before baking.
Place half a chocolate ball in each hollow and set aside to cool.
Top each ginger cup with whipped cream to serve.

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.

Pampoenkoekie Tray Bake

Pampoenkoekie Tray Bake

This recipe was developed by chef Khanya Mzongwana from Woolworths. I added a crumb to the original to add some texture but whether you have it in its “original” form or with the crumble is irrelevant …. you will love it!! The tray bake may be served as is South African tradition, as a side dish to meat or with the crumble and ice cream, as a dessert.

250g flour
10ml baking powder
60ml brown sugar
5ml cinnamon
2,5ml nutmeg
5ml salt
200g pumpkin mash
125ml milk
2 eggs

For the crumble:
135g flour
50g oats
62g brown sugar
112g butter, melted

For the caramel sauce:
200g sugar
100g butter
125ml cream

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 20cm x 20cm baking tray with cooking spray.
Add the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a mixing bowl.
Add the pumpkin mash, milk and eggs to another bowl and whisk together.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir through. Do not over mix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared baking tray and set aside.

Prepare the crumble by adding the flour, oats and brown sugar to a mixing bowl and mix together.
Stir in the melted butter and mix together until the mixture forms large crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumble all over the pumpkin batter.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Make the caramel sauce by adding the sugar and butter to a small saucepan and wait for the butter to melt.
Simmer over a medium heat until it starts to turn a caramel colour. DO NOT STIR THE MIXTURE!
Whisk in the cream and allow to bubble for 1 minute.
Pour the sauce over the tray bake as soon as you take it from the oven.

Serve the pampoenkoekie tray bake as a side dish to meat or with ice cream, as a dessert.

Jodetert/Custard Cake

Jodetert/Custard Cake

Jodetert is a traditional South African bake of years gone by. It is a wonderful concoction of light and buttery biscuit discs, layered with a soft custard and literally melts in one’s mouth. Without doubt, one of my all-time favourite eats – do try it!

250g butter, softened
300g flour
240g sugar
10ml baking powder
1ml salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

80g flour
250g sugar
4 egg yolks
1 litre milk
5ml vanilla

For the biscuit:
Preheat your oven to 180℃.
Cut 8 pieces of baking paper the size of a large baking tray. Spray each paper sheet with cooking spray.
Add the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse to mix.
Add the beaten egg in a thin stream while the engine is running, until the mixture comes together in a dough ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough in to 7 equal portions.
Place one piece of dough on a sprayed piece of baking paper and dust with flour. Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll the dough to a thickness of 5 mm and a 20cm diameter circle.
Remove the baking paper on top and place the dough circle on the baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden.
Repeat with the other 6 pieces of dough.

For the filling:
Add the flour, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Drizzle the milk onto the flour mixture in a thin stream while whisking continuously.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir with a whisk until it thickens.
Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour the custard into a clean bowl and place some plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Allow to cool completely.

Spoon the custard into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.
Place the first biscuit disc on a serving plate, pipe a spiral of custard onto it and place the second biscuit circle on top of it. Repeat the process of piping custard and stacking the biscuit discs until you have none left.
Dust the Jodetert with some icing sugar and serve with a good cup of coffee.

Cheat’s Milktart

Cheat’s Milktart

Biscuit base:
250g dry biscuits
100g butter, melted
1 egg white

Preheat your oven to 180℃.
Add the biscuits to the bowl of a food processor and process to crumbs.
Whisk the egg white just until frothy and add it to the crumbs with the melted butter.
Mix well until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Tip the crumb-mixture into a loose-bottom tart tin and level it out. Use a glass with a flat bottom to press the crumb down firmly all over and up the sides of the tin. Keep pressing until the base comes together.
Place the tart tin on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool.

60ml cornstarch
120ml water
2 egg yolks
500ml ready-made custard
ground cinnamon

Add the cornstarch to a large mixing bowl and pour the water over. Mix to a smooth slurry.
Add the egg yolks and whisk through.
Pour the custard into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and slowly and in a very thin stream, add it to the slurry while whisking continuously.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place it on medium heat while whisking until it thickens.
Pour the filling into the cooled base and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Refrigerate the milk tart for 3-4 hours before serving.