Milk Tart baked on a Braai!
Welcome once again to another blast from the past, this week I'm going to try to do some baking on the braai. This for most South African Guys is forbidden if not virgin territory, myself included. If somebody had suggested only 3 months ago that I should bake something on a BRAAI I would have looked at them as though they were a Doos (literally the Afrikaans translation for " box " Depending on context, the slang / derogatory version can mean " idiot" this is the polite version). What sort of man "bakes on a Braai" I can hear you all saying and laughing. Well, a desperate man who committed himself to cooking on a braai every week for a year, who's looking for something different to show you every week. OK a "DOOS" thats me lol.
So this week I have tried a recipe from Garth Stroebel book "modern South African Cuisine" which is a great book with fantastic pictures of the food he is making. Garth Stroebel, executive chef for the African Collection of Orient-Express Hotels, is at the cutting edge of South African gastronomy, and a leader in the field of culinary innovation. Winner of numerous awards, he was recently presented with the prestigious Pinnacle Chef Award, for a lifetime achievement in the fields of training and culinary expertise. The Mount Nelson's signature restaurant, The Cape Colony, is a testament to his culinary skills, having been nominated as one of the world's top ten restaurants by Travel Trade (USA).
This has been a very enlightening journey so far and I'm learning fantastic new things along the way and this week is no exception. I have added one important spice to his recipe which I personally think "Milk Tart" should not be without "Cardamom", as I try to remember the taste from my childhood. Having never baked anything before and not being a Chef I had no idea how this was going to turn out, never mind baking this on a braai. So carry on reading to see the results, I took the time to make the pastry myself but you can just used shop bought if you haven't got the time.
Serves 8-10 - Prep: 2hrs for pasty & 20 mins for filling - Cook Time: 20 mins
- Sift the flour onto a clean smooth work surface and make a well in the centre
- Add the butter which you have cubed up and rub it in with your fingers. Make into a texture that resembles crumbs
- Add the egg and mix until the pastry is formed
- Rest the pastry for a couple of hours in the fridge covered with cling film
Ingredients for Sweet Pastry
- 125g plain (cake) flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 x eggs
This is enough to make a 22cm tart, with a generous filling of gorgeous milk custard.
- Pre heat the Braai or over to 200°C (395°F)
- Bring 200ml of the milk, cardamoms and the cinnamon stick to the boil
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and half of the sugar together, stir in the balance of the milk and stir into a smooth paste
- Take the milk off the heat and add to this paste stirring well all the time
- Return to the heat and cook until thick, stirring continually
Ingredients for filling
- 220ml Milk
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 2 x Cardamom pods
- 20ml plain (cake) flour
- 20ml cornflour
- Pinch of salt
- 60g sugar
- 2 x eggs separated
- Take off the heat once again and add the egg yolks, stirring and mix well
- Whisk the egg whites until frothy and beat in the rest of the sugar, then fold into the custard mixture
- Roll the pastry out to about 22cm, make sure that it is not more than 2mm thick if you can (mine was to thick, I will know better next time), roll onto the rolling pin and transfer to the baking dish
- Pour in the custard mixture and bake for 20 mins at 200°C (395°F), dont be tempted to peek at it otherwise the centre will drop. Remove from the braai and place onto a rack to cool.
- Serve with some fresh fruit, I used Cape Gooseberries, fantastic
The "Egg" baked this tart to perfection, unfortunately I did not roll the pastry thin enough as you can see in the picture. However that said the pastry had a great taste and was crisp and not soggy in the centre. The recipe for this Milk Tart gives the filling a soufflé type texture which I was not expecting, making this tart very light and not to sickly. The flavour of the whole tart was really good even if I say so myself, thanks to Jan who helped me during this bake as I doubted what I was doing throughout. This texture might not be the traditional smooth filling but it works and will take it to a different level. Give it a go and let me know what your opinion is, please post your comments below in the comment section.