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Border Tart

Serving Size : 4

8 oz Shortcrust pastry
2 oz Butter
2 oz Dark soft brown sugar
1 Egg, beaten
5 oz Mixed dried fruit
1 oz Walnuts, chopped
1 oz Glace cherries, chopped

FOR DECORATION
4 oz Icing sugar
1 tb Water

Set oven to 375F Gas 5. Grease a 7 inch round flan
tin. Gently melt the butter and sugar together in a
pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Meanwhile
roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line the
flan tin
.

Original Border Tart.

This rich confection of marzipan, custard and almonds is encased in a yeasted pastry. When first made, the dough for the pastry would have been a piece taken from the weekly bread-making rather than made specially for the purpose. Most people today seem to prefer a much simpler version and the second recipe is from a Border housewife who has gained renown at WRI competitions for this prize-winning tart.

For the pastry -
4 oz plain strong flour (100 g)
2 a half fl oz milk (75 ml)
Half oz yeast (15 g)
1 and a half oz lard and margarine mixed (40 g)
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp sugar

For the custard -
1 level tbsp cornflour
Half oz butter (15 g)
Quarter pt milk (150 ml)
Yolk of an egg
2 level tsp caster sugar
2 drops of vanilla essence

For the filling -
4 oz marzipan (100 g)
1 oz flaked almonds (25 g)
1 oz chopped mixed peel(25 g)

For the icing -
1 oz icing sugar (25 g)
Warm water to mix

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C or gas mark 6.
To make up the pastry, sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Mix the sugar into the warm milk and crumble in the yeast. Mix in then add to the flour. Knead till smooth and put to rise in a warm place for about 1 hr. While this is rising you can make up the custard. Blend the cornflour with the milk, add sugar and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat and beat in the butter. When it has cooled a bit more, add the egg and vanilla essence. Leave to cool. To finish the pastry and line the tin, knead the dough and roll out into a long strip. Put small pats of butter on two thirds of the strip. Fold up one third and down one third as for flaky pastry, seal edges and turn. Roll out. Repeat once, then roll out and line the tin. With leftover bits make five rounds each about the size of a 10p piece. Roll out the marzipan to fit the base of the tan. Cover with almonds, peel and sultanas. Next spread over the custard and then place the circles of pastry on top. Cover with a piece of foil or greaseproof paper and put in a warm place for 15 minutes to prove. Bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F/190°C or gas mark 5 for another 15-20 minutes. Ice pastry circles with water icing and serve hot or cold.

Twentieth-century version of the traditional confection.

For the pastry -          
4 oz plain flour (100 g) 
2 and a half oz butter (60 g)        
1 oz caster sugar (25 g)   
1 egg yolk                 

For the filling -          
2 tbsp raspberry jam
2 eggs
2 and a half oz self-raising flour (40 g)
1 oz ground almonds (25 g)
2 oz flaked almonds (12 g)
2 oz butter (50 g)        
2 oz caster sugar (50 g)     

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C or gas mark 4. Make up the pastry first. Rub the fat into the flour, add sugar and make a well in the centre. Drop in the egg yolk and put your fingers into it and start bringing in the dry ingredients. It is important to keep the egg mixture together, kneading in the rest gradually, otherwise this type of pastry can be crumbly and difficult to handle.
Knead with both hands to make a smooth, pliable dough which will roll out easily without cracking. The very slight heat from your hands helps to bring the dough together without 'oiling' it. Roll out and line an 8 inch (20 cm) fluted flan ring. Roll out the scraps to make strips for a lattice design on top.

Now make up the filling. Begin by beating the sugar and butter together till the mixture lightens in colour and becomes creamy. Add sifted flour and almonds. Spread a layer of raspberry jam in the base of the pastry and add the filling. Arrange a lattice design of pastry strips on top. Cover with some flaked almonds. Bake in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes. About 10 minutes before it is cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle over it a layer of icing sugar. Return to the oven. Serve with fresh cream.

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