Fatima Sydow’s milk tart

Fatima Sydow's milk tart

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  • 15
  • Easy
  • 50 minutes–1 hour
  • 45–50 minutes

"A classic and beloved dessert that's a firm favourite in our home. I love making milk tart when we have traditional gatherings and prayer evenings called a Gadat. It’s served in squares and is also great for a Sunday afternoon treat. " – Fatima Sydow


  • For the pastry:
  • 150 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 2 t vanilla essence
  • 315 g cake flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ¼ t ground cardamom
  • For the filling:
  • 9 large free-range eggs
  • 2 t vanilla essence
  • 1 x 385 g can condensed milk
  • 3 cups milk
  • For the topping:
  • 1 t ground cinnamon, for dusting
  • ½ t ground cardamom, for dusting

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the pastry, use an electric mixer and beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.

2. Add the flour, baking powder and ground cardamom and mix by hand until it forms a soft dough. Cover with clingwrap and chill for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. To make the filling, place the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl or jug and mix well. Using a separate bowl, mix the condensed milk and milk. Combine the egg mixture with the condensed milk mixture and strain to remove any lumps.

4. Grease a 3-litre rectangular baking dish with butter. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/2 cm and gently lay the dough in the prepared baking dish, pressing it up the sides. Make sure there are no holes or cracks.

5. Gently pour the filling into the baking dish. Sift over the cinnamon and cardamom and bake for 45–50 minutes, or until set and slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Find more milk tart recipes.

Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Photograph: Jan Ras

Fatima Sydow Recipe by: Fatima Sydow
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Fatima made her first 100-litre pot of curry at the age of 16 and has been sharing her popular recipes ever since. She built up a worldwide following with her Facebook page, Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow and is a cookbook author and TV cook.

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