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The Super Simple Dessert Pie From Scratch -Melktert

South African Dessert Pie Melktert

Are you working on the menu idea for the upcoming holiday dinner? Or maybe you are just interested in learning the best homemade dessert recipe that you can easily create on a weekend. This simplest South African Melktert dessert pie recipe from scratch is my new favorite pie because this is one of the cheapest dessert recipes as it uses milk and eggs as the main ingredients. 

Simple South African Pie recipe Melktert top view

Why you will love this recipe

A good dessert can make any good meal, great! I love a good slice of pie to finish off a meal and the leftover even goes well with an evening tea or coffee. This pie has taken over my love for pumpkin pie(by a close margin) because:

Easy dessert for beginners: 

While a good dessert is important, it doesn’t always have to be complicated. I always like to make food approachable. This impressive dessert needs less than 30 minutes to prepare and involves an easy pie crust and a very easy pie filling. That is why this simple dessert pie recipe from scratch is a great dessert recipe for beginners. 

Cheapest dessert pie recipe:

Most desserts need additional essences, canned or fresh fruits, and flavoring which can end up being a little bit expensive and not always available in every pantry. But as the name Melktert (Milktart) suggests, milk is the main ingredient in this recipe. All the other ingredients like eggs and flour are not only inexpensive but readily available in almost every pantry.

Very light and fluffy dessert:

This Melktert recipe is not overly sweet because that is how I prefer my desserts. That is a good way to let all the ingredients shine to their full potential.  Also, the custard filling in this recipe uses all-purpose flour and corn starch as a thickening agent to get that velvety and luxurious mouthfeel instead of using heavy cream. That is why this pie is lighter and you will not feel sorry after eating two slices. Guilty but not guilty. 

Variations and flexibility:

This is not only a very quick and easy pie to make, it is quite flexible. You can make quite a few variations if you like. 

  1. You can use any plant-based milk if you are lactose intolerant.
  2. Infuse different flavors in the custard. You can add some cardamom powder or saffron while boiling milk for the custard. Traditionally, Melktert is dusted with cinnamon powder, you can choose cocoa powder if you prefer.
  3. Top it with any fruit compote or slices of fresh fruit to add a fresh seasonal touch.
Simple South African Pie recipe Melktert

Techniques to make the crust

The pie uses a very easy pie crust recipes. You do not need to keep the butter cool while making the crust. You have two options for shaping the pie crust in the mould:

  1. Take the pie crust dough and place it in the middle of the pie mould. From there you can directly start to press and shape the dough with your fingers until it is spread evenly in the mould.
  2. You can also refrigerate the pie crust dough ball in for 15 minutes. Roll it with a rolling pin until you get a rough circle slightly bigger than the mould. Then you can press the dough into the mould and trim off any excess. 

I personally like option 1 because it is faster and no extra dough is wasted.

Easy homemade pie crust recipe
Easy homemade pie crust recipe

How to make this pie without any baking or oven:

If you are short on time or do not feel like kneading the dough but would still like to enjoy this tasty Melktert, you can buy a ready-made pie crust from the store and just prepare the custard yourself. 

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About the guest

I learned about this South African Melktert from Gerorgia Roux for my project Across Kitchen Lines, as a part of which I am cooking local food with chefs and homecooks all over the world and posting my experience on my blog and my instagram(t_as_in_tarun). 

Georgia, a Cape Town, South Africa native, is the 5 year strong vegan. To learn about some tasty, healthy and beautiful vegan dishes checkout Georgia’s vegan food blog(abiteofvegan).


Simple South African Pie recipe Melktert slice
South African Dessert Pie Melktert

South African Melktert

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

This simple South African Melktert dessert pie recipe is delicious, budget-friendly, and uses milk and eggs as the main ingredients. It is a perfect pie for any occasion.


Crust (1 - 9inch Pie):

  • 2oz Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 150g All-Purpose Flour

Pie Filling:

  • 2oz Butter
  • 2.5 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • dash of Cinnamon and Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract



  1. Add butter, a dash of salt, egg. Whisk to mix thoroughly.
  2. Add baking powder and flour. Mix and then knead to a dough.
  3. Either cool and roll or directly shape in the pie mould with your hands. Prick holes with a fork to avoid puffing of crust.
  4. Bake naked at 365°F for 25 min. Leave out to cool.

Pie filling:

  1. Add room temperature butter, milk, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. In a mixing bowl add eggs, corn starch, flour, sugar, and spices and whisk to combine.
  3. Slowly add boiled milk to the mix ladle by ladle and keep whisking.
  4. Once combined pour the whole mix back to the saucepan and slowly cook while whisking until the mix thickens.
  5. Pour the mix from the saucepan into the cooled pie crust and let it refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon on the top, slice, and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. I would not make any major life decisions based on this.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram(tag @taruntriedit and #acrosskitchenlines)

Closing words:

Like I said before, a good dessert makes a good meal, great! Make your next meal great and wow your guests by making this simplest dessert pie recipe from scratch. It is easy, decadent, light, and budget-friendly.

Simple South African Pie recipe Melktert slice

If you are looking for any help in making this recipe or trying a vegetarian diet in general, feel free to reach out to me. You can comment here or DM me on Instagram. If you give this recipe a try, share your pictures with me on Instagram @t_as_in_tarun or use #acrosskitchenlines.  If you have a recipe you want to cook with me, count me in! Please send me a message or leave a comment.

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