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Hertzog koekies

Traditional South African jam and coconut tea-time treats.

by: Carey Boucher Erasmus | 30 Sep 2014
baking,biscuits, south african

Who remembers Hertzog koekies? When I think back, we ate them often during my childhood. They were at every Sunday, kitchen, birthday or funeral tea alongside koeksisters and milk tart.  I would say these 3 sweet treats are the “holy trinity” when it comes to South African go-to tea time desserts.

I see koeksisters and milk tart daily in local supermarket bakeries but how often do you see hertzoggies?

It was only a few months ago on my visit to Greyton’s Saturday market where my love for hertzoggies was rekindled. Short sweet pastry, oozing apricot jam filling and sticky yet crispy coconut topping, what’s not to love? I’ve never baked them myself, so I gave them a go. The smell of them baking in the oven is something quite special, pure nostalgia!

So here you go, my easy recipe for a Hertzog koekies (jam and coconut tarts) plus a great step-by-step.

Makes: 12


75 g chilled butter, cut into small cubes
1 c (250 ml) cake flour
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
¼ t (1.25 ml) vanilla essence
+- 2 T (30 ml) iced water
3 egg whites
150 g desiccated coconut
150 g castor sugar
+- ¼ c (60 ml) apricot jam


Preheat the oven to 200°C. For the pastry, place the butter and sifted dry ingredients into a food processor and blitz together for a few minutes until it resembles crumbs, then add the yolk, essence and water and blitz until it all comes together to form a stiff dough.

Remove from the processor, pat with some extra flour, cover with Clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the chilled pastry out to about 3mm in thickness, cut in rounds ( I use a ramekin) and line into a greased patty pan tin.

For the filling, whip the egg whites until foamy – do not over whip! Fold in the coconut and sugar.

Place a teaspoon of jam into each lined patty pan and top with a tablespoon full of coconut mixture. Bake for +- 25 minutes or until golden.

TIP: To prevent the jam from bubbling out of the tarts, lightly coat each spoonful of jam with some flour before placing in the pastry cases.

By Bits of Carey.

Read more on: biscuits  |  south african  |  sweets  |  baking

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