Best free-from mince pies revealedWhich? tests gluten- and dairy-free pies
20 November 2015
Gone are the days when being on a so-called ‘restrictive diet’ meant giving up the foods you love. Supermarkets have responded to the surging popularity of gluten and dairy-free diets with a raft of new products, and festive items like mince pies are no exception.
Which? has tested seven gluten-free pies this year – most of which are also dairy-free – giving you plenty of options if you or your guests have dietary requirements.
Our experts were generally impressed with the standard of pie on offer this Christmas, awarding four Which? Best Buys. But while one pie was the clear winner for its spicy mincemeat and impeccable appearance, three pies disappointed our judges due to their blandness. One such offering from a major supermarket scored just 54% in our taste test.
So whether you want to indulge yourself or impress your guests it is certainly worth going out of your way to pick up a Best Buy this Christmas.
To find the pie that suits your diet, palate and budget, check our gluten free mince pies results and taste notes.
Matching mince pies
The lack of variation in the gluten-free mince pies on sale disappointed our judges. In fact, three of the four Best Buys looked so similar that the panel struggled to tell them apart. The three pies at the bottom end of the table also bore a resemblance to each other, with one judge even suggesting that they could have come from the same factory.
Most judges felt the pies to be similar in taste as well. The ingredients in these two sets of matching mince pies are alike, although different quantities were used depending on the retailer.
Our judges were very careful to mark each pie individually despite the likenesses though. While some differences in opinion did emerge, the lack of variation in these pies and the impartiality of our panel are reflected in similar overall scores between the matching pies.
Looking for mince pies to serve to the rest of your guests who don't have a dietary restriction? Read our review of non gluten-free Best mince pies.
Which? gluten-free mince pie taste test
We tested the following seven gluten-free mince pies this year, all of which are also dairy free apart from M&S:
- Asda Free From Mince Pies (£1.75 for four)
- We Love Cake (from Iceland, £1.79 for four)
- LoveMore (£2.50 for four)
- M&S Gluten Free (£2.50 for four)
- Sainsbury’s FreeFrom Mince pies (£2.50 for four)
- Tesco Free from (£2 for four)
- Waitrose Love Life free from gluten (£2.50 for four)
We warmed the pies according to manufacturer’s instructions, because the heat helps to release the aroma and flavour of the pies. Our experts then scored each pie for taste, appearance, aroma and texture. We attach the greatest importance to taste when combining these scores to form an overall percentage.
Our experts were: Gerhard Jenne, creative director of Konditor & Cook; Dan Lepard, award-winning baker; Chris Malec, general manager of Bread Ahead; and Patrick Moore, award-winning artisan bread maker.