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Mince Pies

Most Flag visitors will, by now, be suffering from a severe case of writer's cramp! It is that time of year again when Yuletide cards have to be bought, written and posted. No other type of greetings card can compete with the volume of Yule cards purchased and sent, much to the delight of the postal authorities, world-wide. The blame, for what has become Big Business, can be laid at the door of a Scotsman. It was a printer in Leith, one Charles Drummond, whom we thank or blame, depending on your point of view, for setting in motion the practise of sending Yuletide cards. In 1841 he printed a card portraying a cheery, well-fed-looking chiel with a message proclaiming "A gude New Year and mony o' them". No mention of Christmas, as Christmas was just another normal working day in Scotland until the 1960s. Scots celebrated the New Year. So from a wee shop in Leith's Kirkgate, began, with a little help from England's Charles Dickens and Germany's Prince Albert, a practise which is now accepted as the norm. To help you recover from writing Yuletide cards and to help get you into the Festive mood have some mulled wine with this weeks recipe. Mince Pies are a tasty, traditional Yuletide treat.

Mince Pies

with short crust pastry            9-12 pies
Ingredients: 6 oz Self Raising flour; 3 oz margerine; 1 oz sugar; cold water to bind; mincemeat ( as required )
Sift flour, then rub in margerine until mix is like breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add water to form stiff dough. Roll out and cut into
rounds, larger for bases, smaller for tops. Place bases in tartlet tins, spoon in mincemeat, and, having moistened the underside edges of the smaller rounds, place on top and press edges to seal. Make a small slit in the top. Glaze with a little milk. Bake at Electric 475 deg F / Gas Mark 6 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with either caster or icing sugar.

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