Among the things I did over the last couple months which I meant to blog about, but never got around to, was the celebration I had for White Rose Day. I bought white roses for my table, broke my fast on tea and scones, with clotted cream. (The clotted cream was a huge treat. I had only ever eaten it in Scotland, because I could not find it here. But it turned up on the shelves of the local Grocery Outlet, and I pounced on it with glee and jubilation.) For dinner, I cooked up a bit of haggis, neeps, tatties, and a wee bit of steak in case the company I invited (in this case, my brother and several sisters.) did not enjoy the great chieftain o' the puddin' race. Fortunately, most of them like it quite well, and those who were not crazy about it, did not dislike it, and so it was eaten entirely. We finished with the customary toast to the King Over the Water - a neat little ceremony. One simply raises one's glass, says, "To the King!" and passes the glass over a cup of water before taking a sip from it. It was a lovely day.
For dessert, there was a border tart. I got the recipe out of a really beautiful cookbook which I received a couple years back, for Christmas. Scottish Heritage Food and Cooking it is called, a beautiful book, full of pictures. Some of the recipes are a bit hoity-toity (and one calls for avocado which is most emphatically not Scottish.) Still, there are a sufficient number of quite manageable dishes, so I have enjoyed trying my hand at the occasional recipe. It is this book right here:
The Auld Alliance crust is probably the best and easiest pie crust recipe I have ever come across: Cream together 10 tbsp butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Add 2 cups flour and 1 egg. Mix until just combined - do not over-work the dough. Be lazy with it! Chill dough until ready to use. It is light, flaky, and very tasty. I shall never use another pie crust recipe again.
I did make a few changes to the filling. I could not find currents anywhere. Perhaps I am looking in all the wrong places. Perhaps there just is not a great demand for currants in my neck of the woods. I used raisin instead, and it tasted just dandy. Even the sister who does not like raisin agreed that they are good in this recipe. And, for some reason, I had an excess of almonds when I set out a-baking, so there were almonds as well as walnuts in the tart.
Here I am, setting the tart out to cool. Yes, I really am wearing an apron that looks like a kilt with a sporran and Prince Charlie Jacket. It was the gift of a cousin who knows me well. The sporran is actually a pocket.
And here we have the finished tart, in all its glory. It tasted as good as it looks, and it is so very easy to make:
As a side note: this is also a very versatile recipe. You may use just about any sort of nut and dried fruit mixture that strikes your fancy, and it still turns out quite nicely. I know. I've been experimenting. It is wonderful when it is still warm from the oven, and it is also very nice the next day, taken cold. It is the ideal dish to take to a dinner or a pot luck, because it looks like farm more work than it is :-)