Crunchies are kind of like the South African equivalent of a flapjack although crunchier (hence the name) and less sweet and sticky. I grew up eating loads of these since they’re eggless and my brother was allergic to eggs as a child so baked treats he could eat were quite limited. I recently found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to make these as a snack since oats is supposed to aid breast milk production. Also they are just yummy!
These melt in the mouth biscuits were a staple in my house growing up because they’re eggless and my brother was allergic to eggs as a child. They have a really smooth texture and a subtle vanilla flavour. Although they are lovely plain you can also sandwich them together with chocolate or bake them with a little dot of jam in the middle.
South African custard biscuits
220g butter, cut into small cubes
110g custard powder
110g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
Any flavour of smooth jam – I like apricot or strawberry (Optional)
Preheat your oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Sift together the flour, custard power, icing sugar and salt, Add the butter and then rub in with your fingertips until there are no large lumps of butter. Bring the dough together using your hands and knead a little until smooth. Break off walnut sized pieces of dough and roll into balls. If you are making plain biscuits place them on the tray (12 at a time) and press down with a fork. If you are making jam biscuits press them down lightly with your hands and then use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon to make a hollow in each biscuit. Drop a little jam into each hollow. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
These traditional little South African teatime treats were named after General Herzog who was South Africa’s president from 1924 – 1939. Apparently they were his favourite. He was not a very nice man but that is not the fault of the tartlets, which were a big favourite of mine growing up. I could never resist them when my mom made them. They are probably a little bit more challenging than some of my usual recipes since you have to make pastry and meringue but they’re well worth it.
For the pastry
2/3 cup self-raising flour
50ml caster sugar
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon cold water
Pinch of salt
For the filling
50 – 75ml good quality apricot jam
For the meringue
2 egg whites
1/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease a shallow 12 hole muffin tin.
To make the pastry sift together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolks and water and knead until it comes together into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough to 5mm thickness and cut out 12 rounds using a cookie cutter. Place each round into the muffin tin and press down. Put a couple of teaspoons of jam into each pastry round. Do not overfill or the jam will cook out.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time beating continuously throughout. Fold in the coconut and vanilla essence. Spoon the meringue over the jam on each tarlet and make sure the jam is covered. You may have a little extra meringue so don’t overfill.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the topping has turned golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
Makes 12 tartlets