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Scottish Border Tart

In common with many Border towns, the Royal burgh of Annan enjoys an annual Riding of the Marches when a cavalcade of horse perform an inspection of the town’s boundaries. There was extra joy in the town’s celebration last Saturday as Annan had featured widely in the Scottish media – all thanks to Scotland’s favourite sport, Football. On Thursday 3 July 2008, the local East of Scotland side Annan Athletic , founded in 1942 as part of the Dumfries and District Welfare League, took a major step forward with entry to the Scottish Football League. “Where is Galabank?” will be the question on the lips of many football fans, especially those in the current Scottish Third Division. The answer is simple as Galabank, the 3,500 capacity home of Annan Athletic and its successful social club, lies a short 15 minute walk from Annan Railway Station. En route you will pass the town’s museum, well worth a visit, the excellent chip shop, Café Royal, on the site of the building where Robert Burns wrote ‘The Deil’s Awa Wi The Exciseman’, and the Blue Bell Inn, where a splendid pint of Real ale can be enjoyed.

The demise of nearby neighbours Gretna FC , following a roller-coaster funded by English businessman Miles Brookson, led to the SFL having to fill a vacancy in the Third Division. After three rounds of voting, Annan Athletic beat off the challenge of three fellow East of Scotland sides – Spartans, Edinburgh City and Preston Athletic – and Highland League champions Cove Rangers to gain a foothold in Scottish senior football. Ahead in every round, Annan in the final vote gained 17 votes to Cove’s 12. Annan will kick-off life as a SFL side away to Clyde in the Challenge Cup on Saturday 26 July 2008 at 3pm, and Galabank will host its first-ever home Third Division league game on Saturday 9 August 2008 when Stenhousemuir, The Warriors’, will be the visitors.

Annan is the third largest town in Dumfries and Galloway, with a population of some 10,000, and now join the largest town Dumfries and second largest Stranraer in Scottish senior football. This well-run club makes an interesting addition to the towns on the SFL circuit. Apart from football Annan is well worth a visit. A Royal Burgh standing near the mouth of the River Annan where it enters The Solway, since at least the days of James V, King of Scots, has much to offer any visitor. Famous folk from Annan include the noted preacher Edward Irving, a statue to him stands in the old churchyard, and the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, whose friendship and approval helped dissuade Robert Burns from emigration. Any visit to the Borders is not complete without a slice of Scottish Border Tart along with a fly cup.

Scottish Border Tart

Ingredients:  225g (8oz) Shortcrust Pastry; 140g (5oz) Mixed Dried Fruit; 50g (2oz) Butter; 50g (2oz) Dark Soft Brown Sugar; 25g (1oz) Walnuts, chopped; 25g (1oz) Glacę Cherries, chopped; 1 Egg, beaten; 110g (4oz) Icing Sugar; 1 tbsp Lemon Juice

Method:  Pre-heat oven to 190°C: 375°F: Gas 5. Lightly grease a 7 inch round baking tin. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line the baking tin. Gently melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the dried fruit, walnuts and cherries. Stir in the beaten egg. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 min or until the pastry is slightly browned. Allow to cool. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together. Spread over the top of the tart, allow to set before serving.

Serves 4


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