By Katelyn Williams, The Kate Tin

A classic South African milk tart gets a festive twist with a gingerbread pastry and a spiced orange custard filling!

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE a good mince pie, a slice of fruit cake with a THICK layer of marzipan, gingerbread biscuits and don’t even start with a weakness of ours – trifle. But it’s a little sad that here in South Africa our Christmas tables are laden with recipes originating from America and the UK when we have such delicious traditional recipes of our own! This year, we’re ditching the mince pies for our very own South African version: the festive milk tart! The pastry for these festive gingerbread milk tarts has a sprinkling of spices and the Natura Sugars Molasses sugar gives it a rich molasses flavour and just a hint of sweetness. The custard filling is infused with orange zest and bay leaves – and of course, it’s not a milk tart without the cinnamon topping!

“I cut out festive shapes from acetate sheets and used them to create an effortless decoration!” – adds Kate.

Check out this video of these Festive Gingerbread Milk Tarts and how to make them step by step.

Festive Gingerbread Milk Tarts
Yields 8

Gingerbread Pastry

250g cake flour
5ml cinnamon
2.5ml ground ginger
2.5ml freshly grated nutmeg
60g Natura Sugars Molasses Sugar
120g salted butter, coarsely chopped
3 large egg yolks

Milk Tart Filling

950ml milk
Zest of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 large eggs
225g Natura Sugars Caster Sugar
50g cake flour
50g cornflour
20g butter
10ml ground cinnamon

  1. For the pastry, process the flour, spices and Molasses sugar in a food processor to combine, then add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolks, process until just combined. Tip out onto a work surface and bring the pastry together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 5mm thick and line 8, x10 cm loose-bottomed straight-edged tart tins.
  3. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  4. Blind-bake the tarts by placing a piece of baking paper in the lined tart tins and fill with dry beans, rice or baking beads.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown and crisp, then remove baking paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. To make the milk tart filling, in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring the milk, zest, cinnamon and bay leaves to just before boiling point, remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, flour and cornflour until well mixed. Strain the hot milk gradually into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the stove and whisk constantly until it thickens, then add the butter and mix.
  8. Leave to cool before pouring the mixture into the cooked tart shells. Allow to cool before sprinkling liberally with cinnamon.