Ecclefechan Tart Recipe: Baking Bliss

In the realm of British desserts, the Ecclefechan Tart stands out as a delightful treat that combines rich flavors with a comforting, homely appeal. Originating from the village of Ecclefechan in Scotland, this tart is renowned for its sweet filling of dried fruits, nuts, and a hint of whiskey, all encased in a buttery pastry shell. If you’ve ever wondered how to recreate this Ecclefechan Tart Recipe at home, look no further! This article will guide you through a step-by-step process to bake your own Ecclefechan Tart, ensuring it turns out just as delicious as those found in quaint Scottish bakeries.

Embracing the Essence of Ecclefechan Tart

The Ecclefechan Tart is a celebration of rustic simplicity, combining everyday ingredients into a dessert that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The tart’s filling typically includes a mixture of dried fruits such as currants and sultanas, chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds, along with sugar, butter, and a subtle splash of whiskey, all nestled within a tender, flaky pastry crust.

Key Ingredients for Ecclefechan Tart

To prepare this delectable dessert, gather the following ingredients:

  • Pastry Dough: Made with flour, butter, salt, and a touch of water to bind.
  • Dried Fruits: Currants and sultanas provide sweetness and texture.
  • Chopped Nuts: Walnuts or almonds add a delightful crunch.
  • Butter: Enhances richness and binds the filling together.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and depth of flavor.
  • Eggs: Help bind the filling and contribute to its texture.
  • Whiskey: Traditional recipes often include a small amount for a distinctive flavor.

Step-by-Step Guide to Baking Ecclefechan Tart

Mastering the Art of Ecclefechan Tart Baking:

  1. Prepare the Pastry: Start by making the pastry dough. Combine flour, salt, and cold butter in a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of cold water at a time, mixing until the dough comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the dried fruits, chopped nuts, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and a splash of whiskey. Stir until well combined and set aside.
  3. Roll Out the Pastry: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry dough into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully transfer it to a greased tart tin or pie dish, pressing gently into the edges and trimming any excess pastry.
  4. Fill the Tart: Spoon the prepared filling into the pastry-lined tin, spreading it out evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake to Perfection: Place the tart in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set with a slight wobble in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing.

Tips for Perfect Ecclefechan Tart

  • Soaking Fruits: For extra flavor, you can soak the dried fruits in whiskey or orange juice before adding them to the filling.
  • Pastry Texture: Handle the pastry dough gently to avoid overworking it, which can result in a tough crust.
  • Serve with: Enjoy a slice of Ecclefechan Tart warm or at room temperature, accompanied by a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Storage: Store leftover tart in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week.


The Ecclefechan Tart embodies the heartwarming essence of Scottish baking, combining simple ingredients into a dessert that’s both comforting and indulgent. With this recipe, you can bring a taste of Scotland into your home kitchen, impressing friends and family with your baking prowess and delighting everyone with each delicious bite.

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FAQs About Ecclefechan Tart Recipe

Can I make Ecclefechan Tart without whiskey?

Yes, you can omit the whiskey if preferred. You can substitute with orange juice for a citrusy twist or simply leave it out altogether.

Can I freeze Ecclefechan Tart?

Yes, once baked and cooled, wrap the tart tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

What other nuts can I use in the filling?

You can use a variety of nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios depending on your preference or what you have on hand.

How do I prevent the tart crust from becoming soggy?

To prevent the crust from becoming soggy, you can blind bake the pastry shell before adding the filling. Simply line the pastry with parchment paper, fill with baking beans or rice, and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper, then continue with the filling and baking as directed.

Can I use store-bought pastry dough?

Yes, you can use store-bought shortcrust pastry dough to save time. Follow the package instructions for rolling out and lining the tart tin, then proceed with the filling and baking steps as described.