#RooibosRecipe: Portuguese Custard Tartlets by Carmen Niehaus

This is my take on the popular Portuguese tartlets that are quite similar to our very own South African milk tart, except they are flavoured with a sweet syrup slowly added to the filling before it is baked. I prefer using phyllo pastry and make the syrup with a Zesty Lemon rooibos tea syrup, brand new from Carmien Tea.

Makes 9 – 10 tartlets

Preparation time: 40 min

Baking time: 30 min





180 ml (¾ c) water

Carmién Zesty Lemon teabags

180 ml (¾c) sweetener like Erythritol


5 sheets phyllo pastry

Cooking spray or melted butter

Cinnamon sugar


325 ml (1⅓ c) whole milk

60 ml (¼ c) flour

Pinch salt

4 large eggs, beaten

5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence

Sugar for dusting



Preheat the oven to 190°C. Spray the hollows of 9 – 10 medium muffin pans with cooking spray.

1 SYRUP Place the water, teabags and sweetener or sugar in a pot. Stir till the sweetener or sugar has dissolved. Then boil without stirring till syrupy, about 5 minutes. Keep aside while preparing rest of the tartlets.

2 CRUST Fold each sheet of pastry in half and repeat once more. Cut through each fold to get long strips. Then cut each strip in two blocks. Spray each piece of phyllo with cooking spray.

3 Arrange 2 blocks of phyllo in each hollow of the muffin pan to make 10 crusts. Dust with cinnamon sugar and add another 2 phyllo blocks. Cover the tin with a damp cloth.

4 FILLING Mix 50 ml of the milk with the cake flour. Scald rest of the milk, remove from stove plate and slowly add the flour mix, whisking constantly. Return to the heat and whisk till thick.

5 Mix some of the thickened milk mixture into the beaten eggs, then pour into the pot and bring to the boil while stirring.

6 Remove from the heat and slowly add the cooled syrup into the egg and flour mixture while beating.

7 Pour into the prepared pastry cases. Fill to the top. Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling has set.

8 Remove from the oven and let cool.

9 Sprinkle with a little sprinkling of sugar and scorch with a blow torch.

Hint: You can prepare the custard filling in the microwave as well.