This South African classic has always been one of my favourites. My mom has an especially nice recipe that is to die for - and surprisingly easy to make. It should come as no surprise that my mom is the inspiration and source of my love of cooking good, delicious, quick and easy food. Mom's milktart is what I think childhood tastes like. Or at least should taste like. Which is precisely why I simply had to find a Banting friendly version of this classic.
I even went one better and found two recipes - which one to make depends on how much fresh cream you've got on hand.
Only 1 cup of fresh cream? Then go for the crust-less version. It's also a great go-to dessert if you suddenly have guests coming over for dinner or tea. I found this recipe on The Banting Network. I tend to treat recipes as guidelines only, so have tweaked this recipe a bit as well. Though only a little bit.
4 large eggs
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup fresh full cream milk
1/4 cup Xylitol
5ml Vanilla essence
Whisk it all together and pour into an oven proof dish. Place the dish in another oven proof dish and fill the larger one with water. This is called a Bain Marie - the water does the cooking. Place the double-dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 180*C.
Remove from oven and from the second dish, sprinkle cinnamon liberally on top and let it cool down. It's even better if you let it cool down and leave it in the fridge overnight. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Have 2 cups of fresh cream and some extra time on your hands? Then option two is just the thing. The original recipe is on Vanilla Blonde. I do recommend only making this one when there are more than two people around to eat it. It is rich and way too delicious to restrict yourself to eating only one slice. Speaking from experience here.
For the crust:
This depends on the size of your pie dish, so I recommend mixing the ingredients according to this relationship: For every 1 cup of almond flour use 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp Xylitol and 60g butter. Melted/mush butter works best.
Mix these together and press it into the pie dish. You want to create a compacted lining that'll be able to hold the custard part together. Be generous, but not overly so, you also need to leave enough space to accommodate the custard filling. If, like me, you grind your own almond flour, then I would recommend leaving some chunks of almond in. This gives a great texture and taste to your crust.
The custard filling:
2 cups fresh cream
2 tbsp Xylitol
5ml vanilla essence
4 separated eggs
1 tsp Psyllium husk
pinch of salt
Pour the cream, xylitol and salt into a sauce pan (or something similar) and bring to medium heat. Whisk the egg yolks and add to the mixture. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken (only slightly, don't expect something as thick as whipped cream here), then add the butter and vanilla essence. Take it off the heat and let it cool down a bit.
Whisk your egg whites and psyllium husk until they nice and fluffy - stiff peak point. That means when you remove the whisk, the mixture releases it and doesn't fold back on itself (if it does, then it's called soft peak). Don't over manipulate it, though as it becomes way too hard and therefore useless after a while.
By this time the custard should be down to room temperature and you can go ahead and fold the whisked mixture into the custard. That means you take a flat, metallic spoon and gently fold (slow, circular movements) the whisked mixture into the custard. This is important for the texture of your end product, as the whisked mixture is responsible for keeping it light and fluffy.
Pour onto the crust and pop in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes at 180*C. Again, this is dependent on your oven and you'll have to keep an eye on it to make sure it is cooked all the way through, but not burnt. Take it out and sprinkle the cinnamon liberally on top. Wait for it to cool down and enjoy! I know it's difficult, but the longer you leave it to rest and cool, the better it tastes.
One weekend, I made both of these recipes. We ate the crusted one on Friday and Saturday. It makes for a great dessert or tea time snack. The crust-less one I made the Saturday morning and left in the fridge until Sunday evening. That sounds positively glutinous. Especially when you think about it in terms of the traditional "diet" idea. But then you have to remember that what you've got here is mostly protein and obviously you're not going to eat is as part of a three course gourmet Banting meal. Everything in moderation and balance is my motto. And before you ask, I have maintained my weight over the past month despite indulgence and with minimal training. I am still 2kg away from my goal weight. But that's a story for another day.
At the end of that weekend, hubby just looked at me and said: "this is the best diet I've ever been on." I couldn't agree more.