Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Kitchen Experiment: Baked Milk Tart

Wil jy graag melk tert? Here is my take on the traditional South African treat, Milk Tart!


I have done a milk tart on this blog before, but not like this. Usually, milk tart is made with a cornflour thickened custard, somewhat like a crème pâtissière, but this time I thought I'd do a little experiment...

I've been interested in trying a baked custard for quite some time, and I thought this would be a good excuse. I've been doing a lot of research on baked custard and my findings have shown that generally for one UK pint (580 millilitres) of milk, you add four eggs, and four ounces (115 grammes) of sugar. My first attempt obeyed this ratio, scaling down to three-quarters of the quantity.


The first one I did had a little too much of an eggy taste for my liking, and had too firm a texture. Once I looked up why this may be, I found that egg white adds egginess and rubberiness. As such, I adjusted the ratio of egg white to egg yolk, by removing two of the egg whites from the eggs to make it smoother. It worked quite well!


I also learnt from reading a lot of South African blogs that milk tart should be made with puff pastry. I'll give that a try next time and see what it's like. This tart, however, is made with shortcrust pastry.

INGREDIMENTS
For one 9 inch (22 centimetre) tart

  • One blind-baked 9 inch (22 centimetre) deep tart crust, still in its tin
  • 5 UK fluid ounces (140 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 10 UK fluid ounces (285 millilitres) whole milk
  • 2 whole medium egg
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) vanilla essence
  • Ground cinnamon

METHOD
  • On a cutting board, slice the vanilla pod lengthwise, leaving a little at the top to hold the two sides together. Using the back of the knife, scrape the seeds out of both sides of the pod.
  • Put the vanilla seeds, empty vanilla pod, cream, and milk into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat. If you don't have a vanilla pod, just mix in the vanilla essence after cooking.
  • Separate one of the whole eggs, putting the yolk into a medium mixing bowl, and keeping the white aside for later. To this egg yolk, add in the other whole egg, and the egg yolk, and sugar. Whisk together well. 
  • Constantly whisking, very slowly pour in the hot cream until fully whisked. Make sure to add it slowly so the eggs don't cook.
  • Pour the custard through a sieve into a jug with a spout, and then throw away whatever is left behind in the sieve.
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2). Whisk the leftover egg white until broken up, then brush it onto the inside of the tart crust. Place the tart tin on a flat sheet, and gently heat the blind-baked crust in the oven for about 5 minutes on the centre shelf.
  • Once the egg white is set, pull the oven shelf out slightly to get better access to the tart crust. Slowly pour the custard into the crust, then sprinkle ground cinnamon all over the surface.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custard is set on the surface,but still jiggly underneath.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before chilling for at least an hour before serving.
No blogs on this day in 2015 nor 2014

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