15 July, 2008

Eggier & richer

I love it when people ask me to make food for a party, although perhaps it's a little silly to post my enthusiasm online! I feel entirely innocent making sweet treats that have a purpose. So, when asked to make milk tarts (quintessentially South African) for a farewell party for two friends who’re heading to Oxford, of course I leaped into action.

A traditional South African milk tart is a pale specimen; the milk to egg ratio is higher than in other nation’s custard tarts, and invariably finished with a dusting of cinnamon. I’m all for tradition, but I like an eggier, richer custard. This simple recipe uses Ina Paarman’s tip of infusing the milk with cinnamon and citrus in the initial step.

Farewell milk tartlets (makes approximately 12, depending on size)

1 cinnamon stick
grated rind of one orange
½ tspn vanilla essence
600 ml milk
4 tbspn corn flour
4 egg yolks
600g homemade or ready-made puff pastry
1 tspn ground cinnamon mixed with 1 tbspn castor sugar, to sprinkle
Standard muffin pan, buttered

Place 500ml of the milk into a saucepan; crumble in the cinnamon stick, add the orange zest and vanilla essence. Bring to the milk to the boil. Switch off the heat, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining 100ml of milk with the corn flour, and whisk into the egg yolks. Still whisking, strain the milk infusion and add to the egg yolk mixture. Return to the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until thick. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 210°C.

Cut the pastry into rounds bigger than the hollows of a muffin pan and cover the base and sides of each hollow with pastry. Fill with cooled custard, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow tarts to rest for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

1 comment:

costumes said...

YUM! sounds delicious, next time i want to be there...