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Ecclefechan Tart

A braw Andermas ti ane an aw wi the howp at ye ar enjoyan a hoaliday-swap an takin pairt i ane o the monie ploys fir ti mairk Scotland’s National Day, 30 November. St Andrew’s Day is a perfect date to celebrate the success by English supermarket giant Sainsbury’s in marketing a Scottish recipe – Ecclefechan Tart. Some 50,000 were sold in the past month alone. VisitScotland area director Delia Holland said that the tarts were just the tip of culinary delights in Dumfriesshire and Galloway. She suggested that the tart be teamed up with local Cream o Galloway ice cream to create a dream feast for all food lovers. Sourcing the origins of the splendid food from the region, she added, would make an excellent gourmet trail and give an additional reason to visit this beautiful area of Scotland.

Ecclefechan is situated midway between Locherbie and Annan in Dunfriesshire and Galloway, and as well as giving its name to a great-tasting tart, it is famous as the birth-place of the byous 19th century writer Thomas Carlyle. The cottage where he lived as a child stands to the west of a burn that runs along part of the town’s High Street. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and houses a recreation of a 1800s cottage. Like Dumfriesshire and Galloway in general, Carlyle’s cottage is well worth a visit.

To taste the splendid flavour of Ecclefechan Tart you don’t have to spend your siller in an English supermarket but can make your own for St Andrew’s Day and, indeed, every other day.

Ecclefechan Tart

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup all purpose flour; 3/4 cup powdered sugar; Pinch of salt; 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes; 4 teaspoons chilled whipping cream

Filling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted; 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar; 2 large eggs; 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; 1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 2 cups dark raisins; 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped; 1 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream; Toasted walnuts

Method

For crust:
Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream. Using on/off turns, process until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Cut overhang to 1/2 inch and fold in, forming double-thick sides. Refrigerate crust 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set and slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until pale golden brown, pressing with back of fork and piercing if crust bubbles, about 10 minutes. Cool crust in pan on rack 30 minutes.

For filling:
Blend butter and sugar in bowl. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, then lemon juice, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins and 1 cup chopped nuts.

Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is deep brown and set in centre, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 30 minutes. Cool tart. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Beat cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Push up pan bottom, releasing tart. Cut tart into wedges; arrange on plates. Spoon cream alongside and garnish with toasted nuts.

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