Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
I do love my Mince Pies along with my Chocolate Bars and Christmas Chocolates, indeed, I confess I have been eating them since I first spotted them in the shops (around September 2015!). Last Year, I tried and tasted many of the different GLUTEN FREE ones and this year has been no exception!
The M&S “Made without Wheat” All Butter Gluten Free Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE. Contains MILK) won the Which? Tasting Survey, and I think I understand why. It has a light and crumbly pastry (which traveled well on a plane in my bag despite not having the usual plastic wrapping) and I have to say the filling is not too sweet. The pastry star, dusted with sugar crystals is light and looks pretty. And because of the thinness of the pastry, it isn’t too heavy. A really great purchase and at £2.50 for 4, despite being one of the more expensive offerings, I think it’s worth it. Well Done to M&S!
The Sainsburys “Free From” Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE, WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains ALMONDS and states “not suitable for customers with an allergy to peanuts, other nuts or egg due to manufacturing methods.“). These look pale (even in the flesh and not just in the photos) as if they could have done with a few more minutes in the oven and were very well filled: possibly too much filling, as you can see, the sealed pastry has burst open during cooking. It is a tasty Mince Pie but the pastry isn’t buttery like the M&S one (but then again, it is DAIRY FREE). Available in Sainsburys for £2.25 for 4.
Again from Sainsburys “Free From” Iced Mince Pies (which are GLUTEN FREE, WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains ALMONDS and states “not suitable for customers with an allergy to peanuts, other nuts or egg due to manufacturing methods.” These are a new variation on an old theme: so instead of the pastry lid, these Mince Pies have a layer of Icing. A really surprising combination as Mince Pies are really quite sweet already so adding the layer of icing (and they are generous with this topping, covering the whole lid with no gaps!), makes it sweeter. Now, I have a sweet tooth but even found these to be a little too sweet! I dread to think of the calorific value of this topped mince pie but for the novelty, these were great! Available in Sainsburys for £2.25 for 4.
Whilst on the subject of “different” Mince Pies, these ASDA “Free From” Apple & Cranberry Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains EGG and states “may also contain traces of NUTS and PEANUTS“). These taste like the Mr Kipling pies (with a rich fruity filling). It is well-balanced with the sharpness of cranberries with the sweetness of the apple filling and the pastry is quite crumbly. A nice change from regular “Mince Pies” but strange to call them “Mince Pies” when they clearly aren’t! £2.30 for 4.
But ASDA do traditional Pies as well , these ASDA “Free From” Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and MILK FREE. Contains EGG and states “may also contain traces of NUTS and PEANUTS“). These taste like Mince Pies with a good thick pastry but one that is soft and crumbly. They are well filled and unlike some of the other pies, the filling has whole raisins and sultanas in it, which can be identified and seen. £1.75 for 4.
Found in Holland & Barrett, Love More Luxury Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and MILK FREE. Contain EGG). These are quite fruity as Mince Pies go, but I found the pastry to filling ratio to be unbalanced: too thick pastry for the filling. The pastry has a good colour on it but I found these were “heavy” to eat and would probably be better with cream or ice-cream. £2.89 (in Holland & Barrett although on “buy-one-get-one-half-price” offer).
Found in Waitrose, made by We Love Cake Gluten Free Mince Pie (and is GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains ALMONDS and states “May also contain EGG, other NUTS and PEANUTS”). It is a large individual portion (approx 80 grams) and has a pretty pastry star on the top, and a dusting of icing sugar. It is a more substantial Mince Pie than others tasted but then this is £1.75 each(as seen in Waitrose).
Found in Holland & Barrett, Hale & Hearty Luxury Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains EGG. This pack didn’t travel well but maybe that’s because the pastry is really thin and so a little movements means they do get battered. The filling was very sweet and tasty (with pieces of apple found in the mix) and the light mince pie was topped with a star, which had visible layers of (flaky) pastry: indeed, these looked the most hand-made rather than some of the “factory” looking Mince Pies. These are really light but then they were the most expensive ones I’ve tasted at £3.55 for 4.
Found in a Larger Tesco Extra (and never in my local Tesco Express!), Tescos Free From Deep Filled Mince Pies (are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and MILK FREE. Contains EGG and warning about “may contain NUTS /PEANUTS“). These are packed with a cellophane wrapper and look similar to the ASDA ones. They look a little pale to me but the pastry is thick, but at least quite crumbly. The filling is plentiful and whole sultanas and currants can be seen and enjoyed. The filling is very sweet (although not the sweetest) and seems quite wet and a little runnier that some of the others. £1.75 for 4.
As I don’t enjoy Fruit Cake, I haven’t tried any of the GLUTEN FREE Christmas Cakes on offer, but I have picked up a few GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Logs and tried them:
Very impressed by the ASDA Free From Yule Log (is GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE. Contains EGG and states “may also contain traces of NUTS and PEANUTS“). Now this looks like a traditional Chocolate Log with a thick buttercream topping and a “plastic” holly decoration. It is clearly not an individual portion but is one to be enjoyed (over a few days!) in smaller slices. Clearly, the best slices are the ends as you get more buttercream on these slices but it is moist as a chocolate cake and there is a layer of buttercream running through the middle of this loaf. Fairly consistent with only a few “bubble” holes in the sponge and noticeable that the buttercream topping remains soft (rather than getting hard and cracking). This was a lovely Chocolate Log and one that I have finished off (weeks before Christmas as the dates on packs seem to all be mid-December). Found in ASDA for £4.00 (serves 10 people!).
And finally, a similar Chocolate Log by Sainsburys Free From Mini Chocolate Logs (which is are GLUTEN FREE and WHEAT FREE and DAIRY FREE. Contains EGG and ALMONDS). These were quite nice and tasty: if you like Almonds as there is a distinct nutty flavour to them and whilst they’re named “chocolate logs”: I think a more accurate description would have been Almond Logs! They are dusted an icing sugar type topping but the swirled pattern doesn’t really look like logs (unlike the ASDA product above). It is conveniently sold in packs of 5, wrapped in cellophane and travel well: and they make a change from Free From Mince Pies! Seen for £2.50 for 5.
So whilst you’re feasting on Mince Pies, make sure you don’t miss out..
Other GLUTEN FREE Mince Pies are available (but check the labels for the Ingredients and any warnings the Manufacturers place on them).
No money, samples or freebies have been provided by any of the featured Manufacturers.
This information was correct as of DECEMBER 2015. The links should take you to relevant manufacturer’s pages where the latest information should be available.
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items (including GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Bars). And at Christmas, they produce a highlights sheet which outlines key products. This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK.
SIGN UP so you do not miss out on future updates to the Chocolate Bar listing, as well as new Restaurant Reviews, Product Reviews and (occasional) Recipes. Also check out my posts on GLUTEN FREE Ice Cream, GLUTEN FREE Advent Calendars, GLUTEN FREE Mince Pies, GLUTEN FREE Easter Eggs and GLUTEN FREE Valentines Treats.
This information was correct as of DECEMBER 2015.
But as I am learning, ingredients do change and therefore you should always read the label and check for yourself whether it is GLUTEN FREE or not!