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Beesting Pastries

A classic confection from Germany, known as “Bienenstich Kuchen”, turned into decorative pastries. The crunchy nutty caramel topping contrasts well with the rich and creamy custard filling!

According to Wikipedia: “the cake may have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to the cake and the baker who invented the cake was stung”. 

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Strawberry and Custard Phyllo Pastry Pie

A memorable fruity dessert with “lean” custard and a crispy and light deep filo pastry case! Strawberries are a top contender as far as Vitamin C goes – six to eight provide the needs for the day as well as fibre and “sweetness” without many kilojoules.  Make the pastry shell in advance to have ready when the filling is made. Cool the custard before placing the strawberries on top and finishing off with the glaze.

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Grandma’s Milk Tart

This is an excellent recipes which may end the search for a light and flavourful tart with a thick and creamy filling and paper thin crust! Serve slightly warm or cold.  Be sure to also try Carolié’s easy Quick Baked Milk Tart, which is a crustless version of this South African favourite.

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Quick Baked Milk Tart

Milk tart is a South African favourite with many variations! Milk and eggs make milk tart a healthy dessert or coffee or tea time treat for young and old!  Be sure to also try Carolié’s authentic recipe for Grandma’s Milk Tart, which is the real deal!

3 large eggs, separated
125 ml sugar
5 ml baking powder
pinch salt
250 ml cake flour
875 ml milk
30 g butter, melted
5 ml vanilla essence
few drops almond essence (optional)
cinnamon to sprinkle
cinnamon sugar to sprinkle after baking

  1. Grease a 26 cm pie dish with butter and preheat the oven to 180 °C. Place the oven rack for baking just lower than the middle of the oven for best baking of this tart.
  2. Beat the egg whites until firm and gradually beat in the sugar to make a stiff meringue. Add the baking powder, salt and egg yolks and beat in very gently to combine.
  3. Mix the flour with 2 cups (500 ml) of the milk to make a smooth paste. Add the remaining milk, butter and flavouring and mix until a smooth batter is formed.
  4. Pour the batter into the bowl with the whipped mixture, blend gently until combined and pour into the pie dish. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and bake 25 – 30 minutes or until set.
  5. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar. Allow to cool and set before cutting into wedges.

Recipe by Carolié’s de Koster.

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Fresh Pear & White Chocolate Strudel With Raspberry Sauce

A true gourmet dessert which combines the elegance and sophistication of phyllo pastry with the goodness of fresh fruit. The filled phyllo pastry rolls may be fitted into a round cake tin to form a most decorative twist or placed onto baking trays to make 2 small or one large strudel.

Phyllo Pastry
6 sheets phyllo pastry
± 100 ml butter

Chocolate & Nut Mixture
50g/125 ml  coarsely chopped pecan nuts
50 ml   dried breadcrumbs
30 ml   sugar
2,5 ml   ground cinnamon

Pear Filling
500 g firm, ripe pears
60 ml sour cream
30 ml sugar
2,5 ml ground cinnamon

Raspberry or BlueBerry Sauce
500 g frozen or fresh unsweetened raspberries/blueberries
200 ml white sugar
100 ml water


1 x 410 g   tin blueberries / raspberries in syrup
10 ml cornflour
30 ml water
30 ml black raspberry liqueur e.g. Chambord or suitable liqueur e.g.Kirsch (optional)

To Serve & Garnish
icing sugar to dust
mint leaves and tiny flowers

  1. Place the sheets of phyllo pastry onto a cloth and cover with another dry and then a damp cloth.
  2. Place the butter into a small saucepan or suitable jug and melt on top of the stove or in the microwave on MEDIUM for 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Combine the chocolate, nuts, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Peel and core the pears and slice thinly into a bowl.
  5. Add the sour cream , sugar and cinnamon and toss together.
  6. Lay out two sheets of phyllo pastry next to each other, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the chocolate and nut mixture.
  7. Repeat once more, cover with the last sheets and brush with butter or margarine only.  Note: If a large strudel is made, place the two stacks on top of each other at this stage.
  8. Spread the pear filling onto the layered phyllo pastry, leaving 50 mm at the edges uncovered. Fold the sides over the filling and roll up neatly.
  9. To make the twist, bend the 2 small rolls and place into a 220 mm spring-form cake tin, brushed with melted margarine, with the ends of the rolls fitting in between each other.
  10. To make the strudels, place onto a baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet and brush the tops op the strudels generously as well.
  11. Bake at 180°C for ± 35 minutes for the twist or small strudels and 45 minutes for the large strudel or until golden and crisp.
  12. If the pastry browns too soon, cover loosely with foil as soon as the desired colour is reached and continue baking for the rest of the specified time to ensure that the filling and inner layers of pastry will be thoroughly cooked.
  13. To make the sauce, if fresh or frozen berries are used, place the berries and sugar into a saucepan and cook over moderate heat while stirring until the sugar dissolves and the berries soften.
  14. Leave whole or strain through a coarse sieve and discard the seeds.
  15. Return the puree if made to the saucepan or place the canned fruit and sauce into the saucepan and stir in the cornflour mixed with the 30 ml water.
  16. Bring to boil while stirring until the sauce becomes thickened and translucent. Cool, stir in the liqueur and serve warm or refrigerate.
  17. Remove the twist or the strudels from the tins carefully and dust generously with icing sugar.
  18. Cut the twist into sections to serve – not into slices as for a cake.
  19. Cut the small strudels into 40 – 50 mm sections or slice the large strudel into 20 mm thick slices. An electric knife simplifies the task.
  20. To serve, pour about 30 ml of the fruit sauce onto each individual serving plate and place 1 – 2 neat portions or slices onto the plate.
  21. Decorate with a sprig of mint and a tiny flower and pass a bowl of whipped cream for those who want to go all the way!

8 generous servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking p. 793.



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Pear, Almond & Chocolate Parcel

This is one of my all time favourite desserts.  See the recipe for Turkey, Leek & Creme Fraiche Parcel for a savoury version of this recipe as well as step-by-step photo’s.

1 x 800 g tin pear halves
5 ml cinnamon
50 ml treacle or muscovado sugar
100 g Lindt dark couverture chocolate
500 g puff pastry, defrosted overnight
1 large egg, beaten

To serve
creme fraiche

  1. Cube the pears and add it to a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the cinnamon and sugar and heat while stirring without breaking up the pear further and only until the sugar has melted. Set it aside to cool.
  3. Add the chocolate to the pear mixture in the pan
  4. Roll out the pastry on a Wizbake sheet to a large rectangle, about 35 cm x 25 cm.  Transfer the Wizbake sheet with the pastry to a baking tray.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 200 º C.
  6. Spoon the filling onto the pastry with a large spoon, leaving a 10 cm margin on each long side.
  7. Scatter the chocolate on top of the pear mixture.
  8. Use a spatula to cut the pastry sides diagonally into strips, cutting up to the filling at 2 cm intervals. This is in order to not damage the Wizbake sheet.
  9. Lift the ends of the pastry and pull it gently over the filling. Cross the pastry strips over the filling so that it looks like a plait.  Roll some of the leftover pastry into a long, thin strip and place it on top of the parcel.
  10. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg.  This will ensure a golden and crispy parcel.
  11. Bake the parcel for 15 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 190 º C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  12. Use two lifters and transfer the parcel from the baking tray to a serving platter.
  13. Cut into 2 cm slices and serve with creme fraiche.

6 servings

I crumbled the leftovers of the No-bake Brownies and added it to the filling before enclosing it in the pastry.



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Rustic Fig Pie

This recipe is a real crowd pleaser and will have the compliments rolling in!  Be sure to read my post “In season: Figs” for the health benefits and good accompaniments for figs.

45 g butter
50 ml light brown sugar
16 figs
50 ml light brown sugar

400 g shop-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed
30 ml light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly

To serve
Mascarpone cheese, Crème fraîche or vanilla ice-cream.

  1. Start with the filling. Remove the stems from figs and slice 0.5 cm thick.
  2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add 50 ml of the sugar. Cook over a medium-low heat while stirring. Add the figs and heat through.  Set aside.
  3. Take the pastry from the packaging and unroll it carefully on a Wizbake baking sheet sprinkled with a little flour.
  4. Use a rolling pin and roll the pastry out to an even thickness.
  5. Take a dinner plate and invert it onto the pastry.
  6. Use a table knife and cut around the plate to get a circle of pastry.
  7. Place the leftover pastry in a ziplock back and freeze or cut shapes out with a cookie cutter and bake with the pie.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ° C .
  9. Transfer the Wizbake sheet to a baking tray and arrange the fig slices on the pastry, leaving a 2 cm border around the edge of the pastry.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the fruit.
  11. Crimp the edges of the pastry up and over the filling, creating a border.
  12. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  14. Serve warm or at room temperature with Mascarpone cheese, Crème fraîche or vanilla ice-cream.

6 to 8 servings

Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.

Rustic Fig & Apple Pie

Photo by Giada De Laurentiis

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Cheat’s Apple Strudel

8 servings


8 sheets phyllo pastry

60 g melted butter

Crumb Filling

50 g walnuts, coarsely chopped

60 ml dried breadcrumbs

75 ml sugar

5 ml ground cinnamon

Apple Filling

1 x 765 g tin unsweetened pie apples

30 ml honey or sugar

icing sugar to dust the baked roll

  1. Lay out the first sheet of phyllo pastry, brush with melted butter, cover with the second sheet and brush again.
  2. To make the crumb filling, combine the nuts, breadcrumbs, sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1/4 of the mixture over the pastry.
  3. Cover with the 3rd sheet of pastry, brush again and repeat the sprinkling and layering 3 x more, ending with pastry.
  4. For the apple filling, chop the apples coarsely in the tin, mix in the sugar or honey and spread over the layered pastry, allowing about 40 mm at all edges uncovered.
  5. Fold over the pastry layers from the sides to cover the filling and roll up carefully and not too tightly to allow for expansion during baking.
  6. Lift the roll onto a greased baking tray and brush with the remaining butter
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170 °C and bake the roll for 40 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden.
  8. If the roll becomes golden before 40 minutes have elapsed, cover loosely with foil and bake the full 40 minutes to ensure that the pastry on the inside is thoroughly baked.
  9. Dust the roll generously with icing sugar and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before transfer it to a serving platter.
  10. Cut into slices with an electric or very sharp bread knife. The pastry will be very flaky. It will become less flaky if allowed to stand for a while.



Replace half of the apples with drained canned pears.

Replace the walnuts with pecan nuts or use 50/50.