Peppermint Crisp Tart
Pudding South African Style
Totally South African
Ever heard of a tart called peppermint crithp? Well? Who knows when, where or how this totally addictive South African peppermint crisp dessert came into being? One thing is for sure, you won’t find peppermint crisp in the UK. So this recipe didn’t come from England or surrounds. I haven’t a clue but it’s been around as long as I remember. Age has nothing to do with it.
Peppermint Crisp Tart is not a true traditional recipe but it’s a celebration tradition in many South African homes. Often made for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas, this unsophisticated pudding is loved all over the country by young and old alike.
It isn’t surprising! This is a gooey, creamy sort of Tiramisu-type cold dessert without the alcohol. But where Tiramisu is slightly bitter, slightly alcoholic and not too sweet, appealing mostly to adults, Peppermint Crisp Tart is universally tempting for everybody. Just pure sweet, creamy deliciousness with a touch of the minty crunch everyone loves.
Accept No Substitutes
If you can’t make it yourself and you’re visiting South Africa, especially the Southern Kruger Park, do yourself a favour. Komatipoort is a typical border town, two kilometres from the border post into Mozambique and eight kilometres from the Crocodile Bridge Gate into the Kruger – the best gate if you’re hoping to see lots of elephants.
In the hustle and bustle of downtown Komatipoort, tucked away under massive bushveld trees (next to the Caltex garage) is the oasis of Jackalberry Coffee shop, the brainchild of Jolene Caldeira and full of the most sumptuous pies, tarts and cakes this side of Vienna. Their Peppermint Crisp Tart is an absolute classic and well worth a detour. Mine (made for New Year’s Eve) didn’t last long enough to get a picture so Jolene graciously allowed me to get some shots of hers.
Of course, first it must be be sampled…
Peppermint Crisp Pudding/Tart
Putting this together is super easy. It takes about a half hour to assemble and then at least four hours to chill. Best to make the night before it’s needed because only partly chilled means it’s not nearly as awesome as it can be. Properly chilled and you have ambrosia.
Be sure to get the one and only authentic Peppermint Crisp at a South African food shop near you. In South Africa, Tennis biscuits (cookies) are the choice, also available from SA food stores overseas. (See link below)
One and a half packets (300 gr) of Tennis Biscuits (cookies)
One tin/can (385 gr) ready-made caramelised condensed milk
2 C (500 ml) double cream
2 large (150 gr) Peppermint Crisp chocolate bars, chopped
Chop the Peppermint Crisps, reserve about a quarter for the topping.
Put a layer of Tennis Biscuits – ginger snaps will also work – in the bottom of a shallow glass dish (rectangular is best).
Beat the double cream until stiff, and fold in the chopped chocolate and caramelised condensed milk with gentle movements. (Be careful not to beat it as this can cause the cream to fall and the pudding won’t set properly.)
Spoon about a quarter of the cream mix over the Tennis biscuits in the dish; place another layer of biscuits over the cream mix, another layer of cream etc. – repeat until all the ingredients are used up ending with a layer of cream and sprinkling this last layer with the reserved chopped Peppermint Crisp.
The amount of layers will have to do with the size and depth of your dish.
You’ll have to eyeball it. (Posh culinary term for determining quantities)
Place in the fridge to set for three or four hours or leave overnight.
Serve several times a year – especially if you’re an expat living in the dreary North – you need the this comfort food when homesickness strikes, (believe me, I know!). All the ingredients are available from your local South African grocers. Like here.