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How to make mince pies

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You know its getting near Christmas when you start eating mince pies. You can buy pies in the shops, but it's much more fun to make them - and cheaper too! It also give you a choice about what kind of mincemeat you like - especially if you are vegetarian.
What you'll need: 
110g plain flour
50g margarine
2 tbsp water
some margarine for greasing
A jar of mincemeat
a rolling pin
2 round pastry cutters - one a little larger than the other.
a pie tin for at least 9 pies
Grease the pie tin with a little margarine. This recipe is enough for about eight pies.
Seive the flour into a large bowl the gently rub the margarine into the flour using just your finger tips. Lift your hands up as you go to incorporate some air in the mixture for a lighter pastry.
Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add some water, a little at a time until the mixture holds together and you can form it into one ball. At this stage it is best to let the pastry 'rest' and to cool it by putting it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and on the rolling pin. Roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a penny.
Using the larger pastry cutter, cut out six rounds and place them in the pie tin. Using two teaspoons, (one to get the mincemeat from the jar, the other to take it from the spoon to the pies), place a teaspoon of mincemeat in each pie.
Take the rest of the pastry, reform into a ball in your hands and re-roll the pastry out. Take your smaller cutter and cut out six 'lids'. Put one lid on each pie. If you have some left over pastry, repeat the process to make one or two more pies.
Put the pies in the oven at 200 degrees centigrade for about 25 minutes or until they are nicely brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Using a metal knife take the pies from the tin and place them on a wire cooling tray. Wait to cool a little before eating as the filling will be VERY HOT!
Serve when still warm with cream, ice cream - or just on their own!! Enjoy!
The pies will keep for 2-3 days in an air tight container.
The pies really are quick and easy to make and are much better than shop bought pies.
The key to good pastry is gentle handling and keeping it cool
You can use butter, margarine or lard for pastry
Use plain flour, not self-raising.
If you want more pies, just double, or treble the quantities
A lot of mincemeat contains suet so is not suitable for vegetarians


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