Gluten-free veggie creation wins pie of the year

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A vegetarian and gluten-free pie has claimed the Supreme Champion crown at this year’s British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray.

There were 23 different classes of hot and cold savoury and dessert pies and pasties for the 151 judges to consider at the competition, which returned to its traditional March timing after the pandemic saw last year’s competition moved to September.

The contest plays out over three days and again took place at St Mary’s Church in the home of the pork pie, Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

And 2022 saw the free-from category produce the overall winner for the first time thanks to Bristol-based Pieminister’s Gluten Free Mooless Pie.

The winning entry was made with vegetarian jackfruit ‘steak’, gluten-free craft ale and black pepper.

It beat 35 contenders to the free-from title and was judged to be the overall champion among 976 entries.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association and host of the British Pie Awards, said: “This was a superb pie, it looked good, had a nice even golden bake.

“Up to now, gluten-free pies were always compared unfavourably with other pies. With this pie, gluten-free pies are now equal to any other pie.

“Being vegetarian and gluten free, Pieminister’s Mooless Pie is an ‘everybody’s pie’, be they vegetarian or meat eater, gluten tolerant or intolerant. Serve this at a meal and almost everyone’s a winner.”

The judges, many of whom are experts and old hands, were asked to mark the pies on criteria including eating qualities, the filling, and how a maker could improve their entry.

Three years ago a vegan pie was the overall winner, while last year’s champion was a meat and potato pie from Bowring Butchers.

Pieminister’s victory has landed them an expenses paid trip to a future British Fair in Japan courtesy of the Hankyu Department Store, along with a trophy and the title.

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