Homemade Sweet Pastry Mini Milk Tarts

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Although a traditional South African Melktert is usually served as a full size pie, there is something adorable and delicious about individually sized baked treats. I made these mini milk tarts for an event at my daughter’s school and it didn’t take long for them to disappear from the plate!

Homemade Sweet Pastry Mini Milk Tarts

For most of my twenties, my father lived in South Africa. Oh how I miss touring vineyards, seeing penguins on the beach and some of the delicious local dishes. My husband and I both share a love for the milk tart, or Melktert as it is called locally, so I thought it was time to get baking!

The Pros and Cons of Baking Mini

When you’re baking for close friends and family I would say stick with a large single tart. Guests who are comfortable with each other will happily slice and serve themselves more if they wish. If you’re having a dinner and dessert is to be eaten with a fork/spoon, a large milk tart is for you.

South African Melktert

I have found at school events and parties, a large pie/tart/cake does not get finished. It ends up looking messy, and either the slices are too big or they are so small they crumble. By halfway through people often give up altogether. Us humans are fickle folk… we like a pretty baked good.

Mini milk tarts are considerably more effort, but they are perfect finger food, no fork/spoon required. Noone questions portion size and the last tart looks as appealing as the first. My milk tarts photographed here are full of imperfections but they look totally adorable because they are mini. Mini baking is very forgiving.

Individual milk Tarts

Mini Mik Tart Recipe

Yields 18-20 mini milk tarts.

Sweet Pastry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 egg

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 5 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs butter, softened
  • ½ tbp ground cinnamon
  • Confectioners sugar, to dust
South African Milk Tart

Mini Tart Case Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease one/two muffin pans (you will be making 18-20 mini milk tarts).
  • In a food processor, blitz the sifted flour, sugar and chilled butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the mixture and one egg to a food mixer and process on low speed until the mixture forms a dough. Form a ball, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the sweet pastry on a lightly floured surface. Use a cup measurer to cut circles and line the muffin pan with pastry. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up.
  • (optional step) Line mini tarts with baking paper, fill with pastry weights for the first half of baking. This will create a deeper fill but is quite a lot of work for minis… I’m often too lazy for it, ha!
  • Bake for 12 minutes until slightly golden.
Milni Milk Tart Recipe

Mini Milk Tart Instructions:

  • Add the milk and cinnamon stick to a pan and bring to the boil, remove from heat, then allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven to 335°F. Separate eggs and add the yolks, flour, corn starch, sugar and baking powder to a large bowl. Add a little of the cinnamon milk and stir to form a paste. Remove the cinnamon stick and mix in the remaining milk. Return the mixture to the pan stir on a low heat for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and place aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and fold into the milk mix. Pour into the mini pastry cases and bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set and puffed up. Allow to cool (the puffed up filling with sink) and dust with confectioners sugar to serve.
Mini Individual Mellktert

They’re all a little wobbly and by no means perfect, but they are delicious and went down a treat with everyone! I made two batches, one with gluten-free flour. Both turned out great so you can definitely substitute if you need to!

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

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