Borders Originals

3rd April 2017 Recipes

As you know we are passionate about celebrating the wonderful food and drink from the Scottish Borders and that our menus are always ‘full of local flavour’. So this month we thought it would be fun to take a look at three dishes which actually originated here in the Borders along with recipes if you fancy making them for yourself.

A dish that’s similar to Irish Colcannon and English Bubble and Squeak, Rumbledethumps originated in the Borders and is a delicious accompaniment to any meal. Many people use left overs to make it, however to make it truly delicious, it is always better to make it from fresh.

•    500g potatoes
•    1 turnip
•    75g butter
•    250g Savoy cabbage or Kale
•    Salt and Pepper
•    25g cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to around 180 C then mix the mashed potato and turnip into a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the cabbage or kale (sliced as thin as you can) and cook until softened, be careful not to burn.
3. Add the cooked cabbage or kale to the potato and turnip and mix thoroughly, adding in the remaining butter as you do so.
4. Place the mashed vegetables in an oven-proof baking tray, sprinkle the cheese on top, cover with a lid or aluminium foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until heated right through.
5. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown on the top.

This really is delicious comfort food at its best.

The Border Tart
This is a gorgeous sweet tart which originated in the Borders that is made from a simple pastry shell, filled with dried fruits, cherries and nuts, all in a soft mixture of sugar, eggs and ground almonds. The best way to describe it is like the filling in a pecan pie, but with lots of fruit instead of just the nuts. Most of the filling becomes a thick, rich, buttery caramel, while the surface becomes slightly puffed-up and lightly browned, contrasting with the dark inside. It is finished off with a criss-cross of white icing.

•    225 g shortcrust pastry
•    140 g mixed dried fruit
•    50 g butter
•    50 g dark brown sugar
•    25 g walnuts, chopped
•    25 g glace cherries, chopped
•    1 egg, beaten

For the Topping
•    110 g icing sugar
•    1 tablespoon lemon juice

1.    Pre-heat oven to 190°C, 375°F.
2.    Lightly grease a 7 inch Baking tin.
3.    Roll out the pastry and line the baking tin.
4.    Gently melt the butter and sugar together in a pan.
5.    Leave to cool and then add the dried fruit, walnuts and cherries.
6.    Stir in the beaten egg.
7.    Place the mixture in the pastry-lined baking tin.
8.    Cook in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned.
9.    Allow to cool.
10.    Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice and spread over the tart.
11.    Allow to set before serving.

The Selkirk Bannock
The Selkirk Bannock is different to a traditional bannock in that it is a rich and buttery leavened tea bread, very different from the beremeal bannocks that you find in Orkney. The fame of the Selkirk Bannock is often attributed to Queen Victoria, who according to John Hope-Scott, tasted it in 1867 when visiting Abbotsford House.
It is still made in the Borders by many bakeries, most famously by Alex Dalgetty & Sons, who pride themselves on the quality of their Selkirk Bannock. It is the slow fermentation of the dough that gives their bannock its rich flavour and it is quite a sophisticated process. The bannock is started with a ‘sponge dough’ (like a sourdough bread starter) and over the course of approximately twenty hours they add other ingredients such as butter. It then goes through another two fermentation stages prior to baking. Alex Dalgetty (great great Grandfather of the current owner) worked for Robert Douglas in the late nineteenth century in Selkirk, who is said to have invented the Selkirk Bannock and was certainly the first to make it on a commercial scale.  At Seasons we use Camerons of Selkirk Bannock, the only baker in the town still producing Selkirk Bannock.

•    7g sachet fast-action yeast
•    1 tsp caster sugar
•    500g strong white flour
•    140g unsalted butter, or half butter, half lard, melted and cooled
•    450g sultanas
•    50g light brown sugar
•    milk

1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast and caster sugar with 250ml warm water. Let it stand for 10 mins until the mixture becomes frothy. Tip in the flour and 125g of butter and mix to form a smooth, soft dough. Knead for 5 mins, then put the mixture back in the bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and allow the mix to rise, in a warm place, until doubled in size.
2. Knock back the dough by kneading it lightly for 1 min, then add the sultanas and brown sugar, kneading them in well. Grease a deep 23cm round cake tin with the rest of the butter. Shape the dough into a round and place in the tin. Allow the dough to rise for 30 mins or until it has doubled in size.
3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Brush the Bannock with a little milk to glaze, then bake for 45-50 mins until risen and browned. The bread should sound hollow when removed from the tin and the base is tapped. If the bread colours too quickly, but is not quite cooked, you can cover it with foil and check after 5 mins more. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove from the tin and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Slice and serve with butter and a cup of tea!