Who ‘actually’ likes mince pies?  There’s never enough mince, the fruit is too sweet, the pastry too thick, or too short… and they’re usually just too big.
If you aren’t a fan of the traditional pie then give this recipe a try from Albi Ison – It’s Christmas time, so we’re not counting the calories, but we are continuing to spin off even just mouthfuls of mince pies.
1 sheet short crust pastry
125gm butter
125gm flour
60g soft dark brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Chopped hazelnuts
300gm tub of fruit mince
You’ll need a mini muffin / cupcake tin. Heat the oven to 190.C
You’ll LOVE these. It’s an easy treat to prepare, can be done in advance and then popped into the oven when you’re ready, so it makes the house smell amazing, and there’s nothing better than warm pastry!
Start by preparing the crumble. Take cold butter, flour & sugar, and run together with your finger tips until you get a nice crumb and it’s combined well without massive chunks of butter. Add a sprinkling of sea salt, and the roughly chopped hazelnuts. They don’t have to be too small, you can leave some as halves.
I use ready rolled shortcrust pastry sheets for this. Roll it out flat, and then you can either find a suitably sized round cutter, or cut them into squares just big enough to line the individual moulds of the mini cupcake tin.
Fruit mince, if you can get it, Neal’s Yard do an amazing almond fruit mince at this time of the year and it’s the best! Not too sweet, not too alcohol-ly! Using a teaspoon, drop a bit of fruit mince into a pastry lined mould. You do not want it to be too compact, so literally drop a bit in about 2/3rds full. Repeat until your tray is full. And then top each pie with the crumble. It can be messy… it’s crumble after all, and the thin bits of crumble around the edges, when burnt & combined with boiled over fruit mince, are the tastiest bits!
Serve with cream, or ice cream, brandy cream, coyo, or an Old Fashioned! Merry Christmas peeps, see you on the spin bikes!

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