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Ecclefechan butter tart
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by Diana Henry
A tart from the Scottish borders. I always like dishes made with dried fruit on Bonfire Night. It’s the first smell of Christmas. Be careful not to overcook the filling, and cover the tart with foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time to stop the dried fruit from getting scorched
For the pastry
200g plain flour, sifted
115g cold butter, diced
25g icing sugar
1 British Blacktail Free
Range Large Egg
For the filling
115g butter, at room temperature
115g soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp whisky
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest, plus 1/2 tbsp juice
1/4 tsp mixed spice
2 British Blacktail Free Range Large Eggs, lightly beaten
90g walnuts, roughly chopped
15g brown breadcrumbs
Crème fraîche or whipped cream, to serve
1. Put the flour, butter and sugar for the pastry into a food processor with a pinch of salt and whizz until you have a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg and whizz again until
the pastry comes together into a ball. Press out into a disc, wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2. Roll the pastry into a circle to fit a 23cm shallow tart tin (I always roll pastry on a sheet of greaseproof paper – it makes it easier to move and it sticks less than it does on a floured surface). Line the tin, trim the excess pastry and put the tart case into the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Fill the tart case with scrunched up foil or baking parchment and baking beans. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the foil or paper and beans, and return the tart to the oven. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180°C, gas mark 4.
4. In a saucepan, gently melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together for the filling, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool slightly then add the whisky, lemon zest and juice, the mixed spice and eggs.
5. Put the dried fruit, walnuts and breadcrumbs into the tart case. Pour the butter and egg mixture on top. Put the tart on a metal sheet and slide it into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, covering the top with foil for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time. The filling should be only just set in the middle – it will continue to cook in the residual heat once you’ve taken it out. Serve warm or at room temperature with crème fraîche on the side, or slightly sweetened whipped cream with some whisky added to it.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in October 2021.