Unbaked milk tart (ongebakte melktert)

If you're looking for a South-African dessert or afternoon tea-time treat that can be made on either the stove-top or in the microwave oven, instead of being baked in a conventional oven, you will find this unbaked milk tart to be quick, easy, creamy and delicious.

This tart is best seved when chilled, unlike a traditional baked milk tart that can be enjoyed either cold, or fresh from the oven.


  • 1 can (397 gram) condensed milk
  • 3 1/4 cups (800 ml) fresh milk (you can also the empty condensed milk cans as measure: you need 3 cans full of milk)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 ml) cornflour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla essence, or vanilla seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
  • 1 packet South African Tennis biscuits, or if not available, any other square or rectangular biscuit.


Microwave method

  1. Combine condensed milk and 2 1/2 cans fresh milk together and heat until almost boiling. (This can take 5 to 8 minutes on high, depending on your microwave oven.)
  2. Mix cornflour, salt, eggs and remaining 1/2 can of cold fresh milk together.
  3. Add small quantities of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, to gradually increase its temperature without cooking the eggs.
  4. Add the egg-and-milk mixture to the warm milk mixture while whisking briskly.
  5. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on high in the microwave oven, but remove every minute and stir well before continuing. It must be a very thick custard.
  6. Add butter and vanilla.
  7. Line a large enough dish with biscuits. It works great if you line a rectangular or square Pyrex dish with square, South-African manufactured Tennis biscuits, but any plain biscuits can be used. Fill gaps between biscuits with broken biscuit pieces.
  8. Pour the warm mixture gently over the biscuit base.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow it to set for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge.

Stove-top method

  1. Pour condensed milk and 2 1/2 tins of fresh milk into a saucepan and bring to simmer.
  2. Use 1/2 cup cold milk to prepare a paste with the corn flour, and add to the boiling milk. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate container and add spoonfuls of the thickened milk-mixture to slowly raise the temperature of the egg mixture until warm.
  4. Add egg mixture to the thickened mixture while stirring continuously. Return to heat and cook slowly for a few minutes. It must be a very thick custard. Remove from heat.
  5. Add butter and vanilla essence.
  6. Pour into lined biscuits dish while mixture is still hot.
  7. Dust with cinnamon. Allow it to set in the fridge, for 3 to 4 hours.


If you prefer a traditional tart base instead of one made from biscuits, you can try Marita's milktart base. It is truly delicious. If you use a bit less sugar, it will work as a savoury crust, too.


  • 1 cup (125 gram) flour
  • 125 gram butter
  • 20 ml ( 2 dessert spoons / 4 teaspoons) sugar
  • pinch of salt


  1. Melt butter.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour, sugar and salt, and mix well.
  3. Wait for the dough to cool down a bit.
  4. Evenly press the dough into the bottom, and up the sides of the biscuit dish.
  5. Bake blind at 180°C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the colour of straw.