Ecclefechan tarts with smoked whisky cream

Ecclefechan tarts with smoked whisky cream

Fruit-filled spiced pastry tarts from Scotland – a great alternative to mince pies at Christmas or anytime.

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Makes 12

By Gregg Boyd
From Saturday Kitchen


For the sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 200g/7oz plain flour
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, cold
  • 70g/2½oz icing sugar
  • 1 free-range egg yolk

For the tart filling

  • 125g/4½oz dark brown sugar
  • 125g/4½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 250g/9oz raisins
  • 250g/9oz sultanas
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • walnuts, to garnish

For the smoked whisky cream

  • 15ml/1 tbsp smoky whisky
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • fresh nutmeg, to taste


  1. To make the sweet shortcrust pastry, add the flour to a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the icing sugar, then add the egg yolk and bring together into a dough. If necessary, add a splash of cold water to help bind the dough.

  2. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for around 2 hours before using.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Roll put the pastry to a thickness of 5mm/¼in and cut out small circles, using a pastry cutter, a little larger than the holes in your muffin tin.

  4. Line the holes in your muffin tin with the sweet shortcrust pastry then chill the tin in the fridge for 1 hour. Blind bake the pastry by placing a disc of greaseproof paper into each pastry case and filling with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes.

  5. To make the filling for the tarts, cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Slowly add the eggs a little at a time and mix to fully incorporate – avoid adding too much at once or the mix will split. Fold in the raisins, sultanas and spices and mix together well. Divide the mixture equally between the blind-baked pastry cases then return to the oven and bake for around 25–30 minutes. The pies are cooked when the filling is set.

  6. To make the whisky cream, place the whisky, sugar and double cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Grate in some nutmeg and fold through.

  7. Once the tarts have cooled slightly, garnish with crumbled walnuts and serve alongside the whisky cream.

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