Ecclefechan (or Border) Tart

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Ecclefechan

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.

Ingredients:

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)

Method:

 

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.

 

Padre

Aussie Floaters in the East of England

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I haven’t written a restaurant review for this blog before, but this Pie Shop really deserves the to be publicised.  I had read several great reviews of the Flaming Galah in Norwich, Norfolk,  so decided to make the journey to check it out. This is a little storefront, takeaway type establishment, but so much more. It really is a “don’t judge a book by its cover” affair.

As a storefront shop, it only has a couple of outdoor tables, and some bench and stool type seating inside. It does however, really excel as a takeaway.  It is real quality, eating in or taking away. The decor is simple, and Aussie themed, as one might imagine. There are some interesting signs, which inform customers that it is not a fast food place, but one that does good food as fast as they can. A wonderful concept, and true in execution. Another catchy sign informs patrons that “well behaved children are welcome, the rest will be made into pies.” Joking apart, what really catches one’s attention is the display of hot golden pies.

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They generally serve 12 varieties a day, and have daily specials in addition to their standard menu. Recent specials have included a “Christmas Leftovers” pie made with gammon, turkey and bubble and squeak. Past pies have also included taco inspired creations, a venison pie, and a Cajun pie.  It is fascinating the things they can make into a delicious pie.

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On our visit my wife had a “Classic Aussie Pie” (minced beef, onion, gravy and tomato sauce) topped with mushy peas, potato mash, and gravy. I had a “Greek Pie” (spinach, roasted red pepper, black olives, and feta) topped with the potatoes, peas, and veggie gravy. These were generously, very tasty, and had a really superior pastry. the pies were perfectly cooked, and I noted that it wasn’t a rush job, as when the pie was nearly finished, it was taken from the foil baking pan, and baked some more to have the entire crust crisp and golden.  There was none of the soggy bottom mush found with some pie sellers.

This is a place to be visited again and again, and I love that they have several veggie and pescetarian options. It is highly recommended.

I debated when I should post this.  Should it be on a “Foodie Friday,” or on a “Travel Tuesday?” I am still not sure which would be best fitted, so for now – it is on a general ramble for the weekend.

Padre

Flaming Galah