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Border Tart

Perhaps the most popular grace used in Scotland is The Selkirk Grace ( also known as The Covenater's Grace ) attributed to our National Bard, Robert Burns. The name of the grace has no connection with the Border town of Selkirk, featured in last weeks column, but arises from a visit paid by Robert Burns to the Earl of Selkirk in 1794. During a tour of Galloway, Burns and his friend, John Syme, stayed for a few days with the Earl of Selkirk at St Mary's Isle, Kirkcudbright , the Selkirk's family home. The visit was a huge success with Burns in grand form, impressing his host and the other guests with his erudite wit and stimulating conversation. When asked to say the blessing before dinner he recited an old Scots grace, which he slightly changed. Thereafter it became known as The Selkirk Grace and has become the standard grace at Burns Suppers.

 
Appeal -  At the annual Scots Independent Lunch Peter Wright tries to find a different Scots grace or toast every year and he would be grateful if visitors to Flag in the Wind would forward examples known to them to the SI webmaster.
 
Given the Border's association with The Selkirk Grace those with a sweet tooth might like to try a Border Tart - here is a modern version of a traditional favourite.
 
Border Tart
For the pastry:- 4 oz plain flour ( 100 g ); 2 1/2 oz butter ( 60 g ); 1 oz caster sugar ( 25 g ); 1 egg yolk
For the filling:- 2 oz butter ( 50 g ); 2 oz caster sugar ( 50 g ); 2 eggs; 1 1/2 oz self-raising flour ( 40 g ); 1 oz ground almonds ( 25 g ); 2 tbsp raspberry jam; 1/2 oz flaked almonds ( 12 g )
 
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F/ 180 deg C or gas mark 4
 
Make up the pastry first. Rub the fat into the flour, add sugar and make a well in the centre. Drop in the egg yolk and put your fingers into it and start bringing in the dry ingredients. It is important to keep the egg mixture together, kneading in the rest gradually, otherwise this type of pastry can be crumbly and difficult to handle. Knead with both hands to make a smooth, pliable dough which will roll out easily without cracking. The very slight heat with your hands helps to bring the dough together without 'oiling' it. Roll out and line an 8" ( 20 cm ) fluted flan ring. Roll out the scraps to make strips for a lattice design on top.
 
Now make up the filling. Begin by beating the sugar and butter together till the mixture lightens in colour and becomes creamy. Add sifted flour and almonds. Spread a layer of raspberry jam in the base of the pastry and add the filling. Arrange a lattice design of pastry strips on top. Cover with some flaked almonds. Bake in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes. About 10 minutes before it is cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle over it a layer of icing sugar. Return to the oven. Serve with fresh cream.
 

 


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