Marietjie grew up with this attractive cheese and condensed milk tart, topped with apricot halves, that perfectly combines sweet, tangy, and savoury tastes.
Marietjie's sister, who declared this to be her all-time favourite tart, was known to eat it for breakfast. She also made it a standard item on her birthday where, together with chocolate cake and a savoury tart, it was offered to guests who dropped by any time between morning tea and afternoon tea time.
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) gelatin powder
- 1 packet of Tennis biscuits
- 1 x 250 gram container cream cheese (original, not fat-free)
- 1 can (400 gram) condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla essence
- 250 ml (1 cup) cream, or 2 envelopes of Orley Whip
- 1 tin (400 gram) apricots. If you live in New Zealand, use Watties Apricots in Natural Juice, because Watties currently use South-African apricots which ensure a good result.
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornflour or custard powder
- Pour 1/2 cup (125 ml) water into the top of a double boiler, or into a small bowl that will fit over a larger bowl filled with boiled water.
- Sprinkle the gelatin onto the cold water and set aside until the gelatin mixture melted. There should be no visible granules left. (Marietjie's mother sprinkled the gelatin powder on luke warm water and set it aside.)
- Line pie dish out with the Tennis biscuits. (Tennis biscuits are square biscuits, measuring approximately 60 x 60 mm). The dish we use measures 200 mm x 200 mm but a rectangular dish of approximately 200 mm x 280 mm would work just as well.
- Beat the cream cheese until softened, add condensed milk and lemon juice and mix well. Add vanilla and gelatin mixture and mix in.
- Whisk cream and fold into mixture.
- Cover the biscuit base with the mixture and allow to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Drain the apricots and save the juice.
- Boil the juice with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon cornflour or custard powder to make a light custard.
- Place apricots on top of the cheese mixture and pour the custard over the apricots.
- Refrigerate another hour until the custard to set properly.
You can substitute other tinned fruits or halved grapes (with seeds and skin removed) for the apricot, and can make the custard with passion fruit puree, or can use jelly.
Blue berries make a lovely topping, especially if you make jelly with 1/2 cup (125 ml) grape juice and 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) gelatin.