Ecclefechan Tarts – Easy Baking

4.3/5 - (16 votes)

I have wanted to try Ecclefechan Tarts for so long. These delighful tarts, which can be individual or just one large tart, originate in the village of Ecclefechan which in is Dumfries and Galloway in southwest Scotland.

I first saw Ecclefechan Tarts a few years ago. I knew they would be easy to make and they promised to be very tasty. My sister, Margaret, who lives in Canada recently messaged me about them too, so I thought I ought to get around to making some.

Ecclefechan Tarts

Mixed dried fruit, sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed dried peel, is the main ingredient in the filling. The flavour combination works so well. Walnuts are added into the mix too and I also added some chopped glace cherries. That combination works so well for Christmas, which means that these little tarts would be a good alternative to mince pies.

You can also add some spices to the mixture, such as cinnamon, all spice, mixed spice etc. Those spices impart such a great festive flavour.

You can make mixed dried fruit by just combining sultanas, raisins, currants and some mixed/candied peel in the ratio that you like.

The recipe is simple to make though it takes a while. The effort, though, is well worth the time taken as the tarts really taste so good.

I watched a number of videos and read lots of recipes before deciding on mine. I used 140g of butter in the mix, when I intended to use just 115g. But adjusting the time for baking worked so well, making the tarts perfectly baked right through. So my recipe, below, shows that butter and the adjusted baking time.

My tarts turned out so well that I will be making more for Christmas. I made the tarts in a bun tin, and a muffin tin. Either can be used, but the pastry should not reach the top of the muffin cups.

Ecclefechan Tarts

If you want a recipe for mince pies I have several on my blog, such as Christmas Mince Pies or Quick & Easy Mince Pies

Ecclefechan Tarts – Easy Baking

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: Christmas, Desserts, Pies & TartsCuisine: ScottishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the dough
  • 300g(2 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 190g(13 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

  • 25g(2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)

  • 3g (1/2 tsp) salt

  • 15ml(1 tbsp) milk, if needed to bring dough together

  • For the filling
  • 280g(2 cups) mixed dried fruit

  • 60g(1/2 cup) chopped walnuts

  • 60g(about 10) glace cherries, chopped into quarters

  • 200g(1 cup, packed) light brown sugar

  • 140g(10 tbsp) unsalted buter, melted and cooled

  • 2 medium eggs(large in the USA)

  • 10ml(2 tsp) white wine vinegar, (or just vinegar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)


  • Mix the salt and sugar into the flour.
  • Rub the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs(I did the entire process in my processor).
  • Add the eggs and process, or stir, until the mixture begins to clump.
  • If necessary add a little of the milk to get the mixture to clump. Then squeeze the dough into a ball.
  • Flatten the tacky dough into a disc place in some plastic wrap.
  • Chill the dough for at least an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F.
  • Roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm(1/8th inch).
  • If using a bun tin cut out 9cm(3 1/2 inch) discs with a scalloped cookie cutter, for a muffin tin use a 10cm(4 inch) cookie cutter to do the same.
  • Carefully press the discs of dough to line the bun tin, or muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, eggs and brown sugar together.
  • Add the white whine vinegar and whisk again.
  • Put in the fruits and nuts and mix to thoroughly combine.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared pastry cases, they shouldn’t be filled to the top as the mixture will rise during baking.
  • Bake the tarts in the oven for 25 minutes, until the pastry has cooked through the has coloured well. The filling should have browned too and risen somewhat.
  • Remove from the oven and lift one tart, carefully, so you can check that the bottom is fully cooked, and if not bake a few minutes longer. Allow the tarts to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. I’m 71 and have just started baking again after a pause of 20 years or so. I’m enjoying it so much!
    I have just come across your recipe, and it looks delicious.
    I’d quite like to take some to my children when I visit them (if there are any left!) – can I freeze them?
    Many thanks

  2. Made these just after Christmas as my dad loves the ones from Sainsbury’s but now lives 20 miles away from a Sainsbury’s. Fantastic recipe, much easier and tastier than I imagined.

  3. Hi Geoff,
    I baked 24 Ecclefechan Tarts using your recipe and they are delicious thankyou.
    I have just started learning how to bake and am 67 years young!
    Thanks for such a good website which I am sure I will continue using.
    Paul Lyttle,
    Moniaive, Dumfries & Galloway.

    • Hi C Paul Lyttle. Welcome to baking. I started when I was 65. I am glad you enjoyed the Ecclefechan Tarts. I used to have friends in Dalbeattie and stayed there often in the 80s and 90s, quite close to you. I am sure we went through Moniaive often on our travels.

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