Ecclefechan (or Border) Tart


I wasn’t aware of this dessert until it was mentioned to me by a dear friend.  The name seemed interesting so I looked it up.  It did seem a yummy confection, so I gave it a go.  The tart is named after a village in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.  It is indeed yummy,  and it is a great alternative to mince pies.


The Crust:

Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups

Butter 1/4 cup chilled and cubed

Stork (or similar) Shortening 1/4 cup

Salt 1/4 tsp

Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

The Filling:

Butter 1/2 cup  (unsalted is best), melted

Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 cup (packed)

Treacle 1 tsp

Eggs 2 large

Lemon Juice 1 Tbs (fresh is best)

Lemon Peel 1 tsp (packed), grated

Ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp

Raisins 2 cups

Walnuts 1 cup (chopped)



The Crust:

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

Then, preheat oven to 190 C/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 golden brown. Cool crust in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

Mix the butter and sugar in bowl.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.  Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins and the chopped nuts.  Pour filling into crust. Bake the tart [still at 190 C/375 F] until filling is deep brown and set in center, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly (about 30 minutes). Cool tart.