Airfryday: A sweet, sweet taste of home

Airfryday: A sweet, sweet taste of home
A sweet, sweet taste of home – Hertzoggies. (Photo: Georgina Crouth)

Hertzoggies are ubiquitous in home industries and kerk bazaars. But they originated in the homes of marginalised communities, in the 1920s.

If you love coconut, sweetness and apricot jam, Hertzoggies tick all the right boxes. These little jam-filled tartlets, served on a pastry case, might be ubiquitous “tuisnywerheid” (home industry) treats, but they were first prepared in Cape Malay kitchens, often baked during Eid.

Named after the late Boer War General James Barry Munnik Hertzog, who was said to have loved the cookie, the biscuits were said to have been baked in the 1920s for Hertzog as a symbol of support from the coloured community. 

Having promised to give women the vote, Hertzog was the only South African Prime Minister to have served under three monarchs (George V, Edward VIII, and George VI).



250g butter, softened

1 cup castor sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 egg

4 cups self-raising flour

2 tbsp oil


1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut

½ cup sugar

1 cup water

2 sticks cinnamon sticks

4 cardamom pods, crushed

apricot jam


Coconut filling

In a saucepan, boil the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods until the sugar has dissolved, add the coconut and cook on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until all the water has dissolved.


Cream the butter and sugar well. Add oil, vanilla extract and egg and beat well. Sift in the flour and mix to form a soft dough. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it into rounded shapes. Place dough discs into greased patty pans. Spoon about a tablespoon of the coconut filling into each one. Bake for about 10 minutes in a pre-heated air fryer (at 180°C) until lightly golden brown. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Jane Troughton says:

    I’m not seeing the jam in the method??

  • mulville says:

    Hi. Thank you for the recipe. I made these according to the recipe. However, the pastry fell apart when I took them out the oven (I needed more than what my airfryer could cook). You didn’t mention to put the jam in. I put a couple of teaspoons in before the coconut mixture. You didn’t say whether to keep the cardamon and vanilla in or not. I removed the vanilla sticks. It was very tasty though!

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