I find myself occasionally missing South Africa. I think that living in the information age helps me to feel more connected to the people I've left behind, but does little for my hankering for the little things that I miss about the place. For me, it's the beautiful mountains, the food and wine and sometimes even the penguins. When I find myself in this nostalgic mood, I often cook something that reminds me of a particular memory. For me, milk tart reminds me of our neighbours bringing over cake when they had something to celebrate, usually a religious festival. It's only now that I recognise how lucky I was to grow up in a time and place where religious tolerance was the norm.
For the crust
275g pack of digestive biscuits (gluten-free)
60g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
100g caster sugar
2 cardamom pods crushed
1 stick of cinnamon
2 medium eggs
1 1/4 tbsp cornflour
1 1/4 tbsp gluten-free Dove Farm plain flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
knob of butter
ground cinnamon to dust
1. For the crust, smash the digestive biscuits into crumbs with a rolling pin and stir in the melted butter. Divide the mixture between 4 round fluted tartlet tins (10cm x 2cm) and press into each forming the crust. Put in freezer to firm up while preparing the filling.
2. Bring milk, with stick cinnamon and cardamom pods, to the boil.
3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs, cornflour, plain flour and salt. Mix until batter is thoroughly combined.
4. Remove milk from heat and remove the cardamom and cinnamon stick. Add milk to batter and combine.
5. Return to batter to heat and stir continuously until batter thickens. Add vanilla essence and a knob of butter.
The gluten-free flour helps this to thicken very quickly so don't turn your back.
6. Pour thickened batter into prepared biscuit bases and refrigerate until set.
7. Dust over some ground cinnamon just before serving.