Lemon and bay leaf melktert

April 18, 2018 (Last Updated: November 13, 2018)
Lemon and bay leaf melktert

Melktert is such a South African classic! We love this delicious twist on the traditional recipe.

Lemon and bay leaf melktert

Serves: Makes 2 tarts
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 mins plus extra for chilling



  • 100g butter
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 240g (2 cups) cake flour
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • FILLING</h3.

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 400ml fresh cream
  • 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1 bay leaf
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
  • nutmeg, freshly grated



To make the pastry, blend all the ingredients in a food processor until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.


On a lightly floured surface, divide the pastry in half and roll out to 5mm in thickness. Line 2 x 20cm springform tart tins with the pastry and bake blind for 8 minutes. Remove the beansand cook for another 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.


For the filling, mix the egg yolks with the sugar, beat well and set aside.


In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla, bay leaf, lemon zest and butter. Just before it boils, pour the mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously until combined.


Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large jug.


Place the tart tins on a baking tray on an oven shelf. Pour the custard mixture into the pastry cases – it is easier to fill the cases while they are in the oven.


Sprinkle with the nutmeg and bake until the middle wobbles but looks like set jelly, about 45 minutes.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.



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