Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Milk tart story from De Oude Huize

 “De Oude Huize,” has our own milk tart story to tell.

This story begins years back in 1978 when I was teaching at a school in Port Elizabeth.  
A little collage of the City Port Elizabeth 
The beautiful St Georges park was only a few meters from my flat and I was privileged to have both a sea view as well as a view of Havelock street with its many shops, one of which was a home industry.

One day I was standing in the home industry deciding on what I should buy for tea with a friend in Prospect Hill Street. While I was deciding between the cakes and tarts, an elderly gentleman approached. I went about my business and as I pointed towards the milk tarts, he told me his milk tart story. “My Dear, I also bought a milk tart like that to take home. The young lady, who was serving me at the time, asked if I would like to take one or two.  I am a kind-hearted person so I agreed to take two. I paid for the tarts and left for home. Carrying the tarts felt as though I was carrying a bag of rocks but never the less I was sure I was going to impress my dear wife.

As I turned my car homewards, my thoughts drifted to the little tarts, which were now accompanying me home. They were calling my name and inviting me to sample just a little temptation before arriving home. I had chosen to go via the river road, as there was not much traffic. I stopped and took a little bite ….. What a shock …. There was absolutely no temptation in those tarts whatsoever! I opened the car door and let the tarts roll. I am certain that they rolled all the way, straight into the Baakens River without losing any of their shape……”

My story continues with our own milk tart story from “De Oude Huize.” This story begins at ten o’clock this morning as our Dutch guests were arriving from the Drakensberg. At the same time as the Dutch guests were arriving, our previous night’s guests were still brushing their teeth after just having finished their breakfast. The new guests all needed to use the bathroom and so we were running around in circles trying to sort out bathrooms. There were six Dutch guests so it was no mean feat!

Eventually after the previous night’s guests had left, the newly arrived Dutch guests congregated in one room while we cleaned and tidied the other rooms. I do not function well under pressure and with all the excitement I had completely forgotten to bake both rusks as well as our normal four o’clock coffee treat. Hennie was marvelous and came to my rescue. He leapt into the car and headed off to the Spar at great speed. We were both thinking of the Spar’s TV advertisement, which promises quality-baked goods. I suggested that he look for a milk tart – the same one advertised in their pamphlet – an old-fashioned milk tart, the kind your granny would be proud to call her own.

Within twenty minutes he was home and dry. He was clearly quite pleased with him self as he had secured the last milk tart.

With the arrival of the afternoon coffee hour, our guests were sitting down eagerly waiting for their coffee and cake.  I removed the “tart of temptation” from its packaging …. All I can say at this point is that if the Baakens River had been close, the milk tart would most definitely have taken a tumble.
The tart was mostly crust with only a hint of a milk custard filling. I was furious and in no uncertain terms told the tart exactly what I thought of it. This was barely an excuse of a milk tart! Never the less I began to cut into the thick pastry. The crust cracked and started to fall apart. We lifted it out of its foil tray and gingerly placed it in a deeper tray to try again. With a bit of luck we managed to get six reasonable slices cut. It was a mad rush organizing the tea and coffee and then Hennie took the pieces of tart to serve our eager guests.……
I am not too sure of how it happened exactly or of what happened, but one piece took a suicidal leap off the plate and landed in pieces on the floor. We both stood frozen to the spot in shocked silence …… there were only six slices!
Fortunately I remembered I still had a little bit of another earlier treat tucked away for our own tea later and that accompanied the tart into the lounge.

Hennie is now of the distinct opinion that, should I in the near future need to buy any baked goods from the local supermarket, I will, most definitely be going in person! 
Milktart Recipe 
Line a 22,5 cm tart dish with 250 g puff pastry and bake blind 

Ingredients for Filling:
1 litre fresh milk
2 cinnamon sticks
50 g (90 ml) cake flour
100 g (125 ml) White Sugar
pinch of salt
50 g butter
4 eggs, separated
cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Bring the milk and cinnamon stick to boiling point.
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl.
Add the boiling milk to the flour mixture.
Return to saucepan and cook until flour is cooked.
Remove from heat and add butter.
Leave to cool and add beaten egg yolks.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into custard mixture.
Pour into baked crust.
Bake for 20 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 160ºC and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Love from South Africa 

Thank you for all the wonderful friends whom are sharing this story!!!