The British Pie Awards have introduced a new Free From Gluten category, as the competition officially opens for entries today.

The 7th annual pie competition will take entries up until 3 April 2015, and the awards will be held on 22 April.

It will encourage bakers and butchers to enter pies into more than 20 classes, including the Specialist class, which this year asks contestants to enter a ‘bride’s pie’. This category expects pies to be of ‘showstopping’ standards.

Last year, Proper Pies won the Beef & Ale class with a gluten-free beef, Guinness and root vegetable pie.

Gary Davies, general manager at Proper Pies, said that developments in dietary needs made the new free-from class very timely.

He explained: “We’re sensitive to the developments in the food market, which is why we entered this pie last year.

“This new class will hopefully encourage other manufacturers to develop contemporary recipes that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

Full details of how to enter, as well as a full list of this year’s classes, can be found on the British Pie Awards website: