Milk Tart Ice Cream

For this month’s Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge, Kavey Eats tasked us with making an ice cream which included spices. An interesting challenge as spices and ice cream may not seem the most natural of partners. However, as I found this week, the results can be delicious.

For my BSFIC entry, I decided to take inspiration from my milk tart recipe and make a South African inspired milk tart ice cream. For those of you uninitiated in the ways of the milk tart, it is a ubiquitous South African dish that fights with the malva pudding to take the title of ‘national dessert of South Africa.’ It is a custard style tart traditionally laced with cinnamon which, apparently, has a higher proportion of milk to eggs than a European custard tart (hence the name). I like to use a little cardamom and nutmeg alongside the cinnamon in my milk tarts to enrich the flavour and add an extra dimension. And thus it was these three spices that made it into my ice cream.

The resulting ice cream was beautifully creamy and packed quite a punch. But, because I used whole spices rather than ground, the flavours were warming and fragrant rather than the more aggressive taste that ground spices can lend. To echo the pastry component of the milk tart, I made some little cinnamon and nutmeg puff pastry twists to serve with the ice cream which worked really well. The ice cream would also make an excellent accompaniment to warming winter desserts. Apple pie for instance, or a home-made fruit crumble.

This is how I made it:

Milk Tart Ice Cream with Cinnamon and Nutmeg Puff Pastry Twists

(Makes approximately 1 litre)

For the ice-cream:

  • 300ml full cream milk
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 250ml double cream

For the puff pastry twists:

  • 100g puff pastry
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

1.  For the ice-cream, put the milk in a saucepan with the spices and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for about an hour.

2.  Lightly beat the egg yolks, sugar and custard powder in a bowl. Strain the spices from the milk and return the milk to the heat, again bringing to just below boiling point. Pour the hot milk slowly on to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, then return the whole lot to the pan. Cook over a gentle heat (don’t stop whisking!) until the custard has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to a clean bowl then stir through the double cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight before churning in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

3.  For the puff pastry twists, preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Roll your puff pastry into a rectangle about 5mm thick. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and, using a rolling pin, lightly press the spices and sugar into the pastry. Cut into 1cm wide strips and then taking hold of either end of the strip, gently twist the pastry into a spiral. Transfer to a baking tray and trim the ends with a sharp knife. Repeat with the rest of the strips. Lightly dab with beaten egg and bake for about 10 minutes until puffed and golden.


  1. I tried the malva pudding during our holiday in SA but don’t think I had the milk tart. Next time! Really like this idea for an ice cream, I think the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom sounds delicious!

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