Gluten-Free Melktert (South African Milk Tart) for My Dad

Dear Dad,

Happy Father’s Day!

Thanks for always being an amazing, loving, empathetic, and supportive Dad.

Dad |

Dad |

Even though we have the same birthday, thanks for always giving up your birthday, so I could blow out the candles.

Dad |

Thanks for always taking me on the best roller-coasters, and the even-better rides at the zoo!

Dad |

Thanks for all the incredible trips we’ve taken together.

Dad |

Dad |

And thanks for walking me down the aisle.

Dad |

Dad |

And dancing with me to my favourite songs at the wedding.

Dad |

I love the time we spend together, working, playing, and singing.

Dad |

So for Father’s Day, I made you a Melktert.  I hope it’s as good as you remember it!

Gluten-Free Melktert |

So very much love, always,


Gluten-Free Melktert |

Gluten-Free Melktert |

Gluten-Free Melktert

This was always my Dad’s favourite dessert, as well as a very typical South African dessert.  The custardy filling will bring back childhood memories, even if you didn’t grow up eating your own Melkterts.  Use the best-quality milk and eggs here, as they create so much of the flavour of the tart.  Adapted from the Milk Tart Recipe at Just Easy Recipes.  Serves 8.

Gluten-Free Crust

  • 212g (1 1/3 cups) rice flour
  • 15g (1/8 cup) tapioca flour (a.k.a. tapioca starch)
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 113g (1/2 cup) salted butter, cut into 1 cm (1/2″) cubes
  • 118ml (1/2 cup) ice water
  • extra butter for greasing

Melktert Filling

  • 950 ml (4 cups) organic whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g (2 1/2 Tablespoons) rice flour
  • 19g (2 1/2 Tablespoons) tapioca flour (a.k.a. tapioca starch)
  • 200g (1 cup) unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)


To Make the Gluten-Free Crust:

As you’re getting everything else ready to go, place the cubed butter in the freezer so it can get cold.

In a food processor fitted with the dough-blade, pulse the rice flour, tapioca flour, sugar & salt together.  Add the butter and blitz until you have pea-sized lumps of butter in your dough.  Sprinkle the ice water over the surface of the dough, wait 30 seconds, then blitz until the mixture forms a ball.  (If it doesn’t form a ball, check if it sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers.  If it does, go ahead and turn out the dough and make it into a ball yourself.  If it is still too crumbly to form a ball, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time.)

Dump the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.  Form the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disc.  Wrap with the plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F, and grease your pie plate with butter.

Take out the chilled dough, and roll it out into a circle that fits your pie plate.  I like to put gluten-free doughs between a bottom-layer of parchment or wax paper, and a top-layer of plastic wrap to roll them out with the least amount of mess and sticking.  Once your dough is rolled out to the right size, peel off the layer of plastic wrap, and put your greased pie plate upside-down over top of the dough.  Slide your hand under the layer of parchment, and flip the whole thing over, so you have your dough in the pie plate.  Peel off the layer of parchment (and save it!), and press any cracks together with your fingers.  Flute the edges with your finger.

Place your sheet of parchment on top of the crust, and top with pie weights or dried beans, so the crust doesn’t puff up when baking.

Bake the Gluten-Free Crust at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden-brown.


To Make the Melktert Filling:

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil, stirring every minute or so with a spatula or wooden spoon to keep the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and add the sugar, rice flour, tapioca flour, and sugar.  Whisk to combine all ingredients, without any lumps.

Once the milk has come to a boil, pour it over the egg mixture.  Stir well with your spatula or wooden spoon.

Return this milk/egg mixture to the stove, and stir lightly until the mixture thickens and is the consistency of custard.  Pour in the butter & vanilla, and mix until just combined.  Pour the custard into the cooked tart crust.

Allow the tart to cool in the fridge, for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving, and enjoy your taste of South Africa!


Gluten-Free Melktert |


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian


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6 Comments on “Gluten-Free Melktert (South African Milk Tart) for My Dad”

  1. June 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    My mum-in-law follows a gluten free diet and is South African. She doesn’t know it yet, but she really, really thanks you for posting up this recipe 😉

    • June 16, 2014 at 10:00 am #

      I am so very very glad 🙂

  2. Heather Dancyger
    June 16, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Hi Lindsay!
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes!!
    I just had to write because I was also born on my Dad’s Birthday, crazy coincidences! My Mom always made a cake for me and an apple pie for my Dad 🙂
    I hope your Dad enjoyed his Melktert!


    • June 16, 2014 at 10:00 am #

      Hi Heather! What an amazing coincidence! It’s kind of the best 🙂

      So nice to hear from you — I hope life is treating you well! Glad you’re loving the recipes!

  3. September 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    This is so sweet Linz – I’m sure your dad loved the melktert and loved your post even more : )


  1. Strawberry-Rhubarb Gluten-Free Pie | The Kitchen Operas℠ - June 22, 2014

    […] crust was a bit of a cheat… when I made the Melktert for my Dad last weekend, I knew I’d want to make another pie this weekend.   So I made a double batch […]

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