Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Jewish Tart

tartI have known Big Friendly for almost 13 years now, and over those 13 years he has told me rapturously, in childhood fantasy memory, about his most favourite dessert, a thing called Jewish Tart. His ouma and his mom made it for him on very special occasions and it was his best ever thing. I always pulled a face when he spoke about it, because I am Jewish and I have never heard of or seen a Jewish Tart before. I thought that maybe his strange and wonderful family had given some thing this name, and they were the only ones. Like my father calling stupid, stingy people Peruvians. “Don’t be such a Peruvian!”

A month ago Big Friendly came home flushed and excited. It was a real thing! His aunt had posted the Huisgenoot recipe for Jode Tert on facebum.

Today we tried to make it. It is layers of round biscuit separated by a homemade custard. The biscuits are done and the custard (please may it still firm up) is cooling before we assemble it.

Jewish Tart; this bizarre South African thing made by Afrikaners, and now by me, and stirred by Big Friendly. This is the recipe I followed.





A sad, personal post


  1. i just made your lemon tart [my go to!] on Saturday again for a braai but this time gave it a bit of a brett twist keeping some of the base crumbs and lightly dusting the top with them and then grating in some Tex bar on top cos me and chocolate… and put in the full amount of lemon juice for a change and actually that totally makes it – removes the richness and gives it the right amount of tart…

    Hope this one was everything BF imagined it to be…
    And thank you again… still need to figure out how to make chocolate one set
    love different BF

  2. Love that lemon tart, other BF. There are a few things to do to get the choc one to set. Whip the cream until very, very stiff. Use half condensed milk. Put in an egg white beaten stiff. Leave it in the fridge for long.
    This Jewish Tart needs work. Biscuits were too thick, custard too sweet. It is a labour of love. I had no idea how hard it was to make custard from scratch.

  3. Ronni Israelstam

    hi Megan, Yesterday I went to an Afrikaans-owned excellent bakery in Joburg (Robindale, to be exact) and they had mini Jodeterte for sale. I was gob-smacked at the name. It got me searching for the origins amongst my BoereJode and and Afrikaans friends. They’d all heard of it and many had recipes from grannies, but no-one could explain the origin of the name. As a Jewish person, I’ve never come across this confectionery at any Jewish function, so I’m really puzzled by the origin. In my efforts at finding the source, I turned to Prof Google and came upon your post. unfortunately , you too couldn’t track down the cultural heritage. Any other ideas on getting the answer to this daft question out of my head?

  4. It is so funny. It’s one of those weird, unexplained things. What probably happened, and I am guessing here, is that a Jewish baker made a kind of custard tart similar to the ones I saw in Prague, with an Austrian twist, and that it got passed along as a Jewish tart or Joodsetert. I think it probably happened once, by one baker, and then the Afrikaans tannies passed it along.

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