The Great British Bake Off: 5.05 Pies and Tarts Week
After the week that was the kitchen had cooled down for Pies and Tarts week on the Great British Bake Off so mind your fridge and let the innuendo flow.
Some clever editing took care of the national scandal that was #BinGate with Diana having left through illness and remembered as everyone's lovely Grandma, very touching. Though with her gone before this week began did they really need to send another contestant home? You will simply have to read on to find out.
The first challenge was a relatively simple one with each contestant having to present their interpretation of a custard tart with the only requirement asked of them to not to present it from a bin. Well, not exactly. All Paul Hollywood wanted was a "crispy base and a beautiful, silky custard" while Mary Berry simply did not want any leakage, which was easier said than done. Much was also made of chilling the pastry adequately, especially after the ice-cream fiasco last week.
They began with Norman and the agenda was set with the Scot trying to branch out and the judges doing their best to keep him in check. Alas, he plumped for a relatively simple Tarte au Citron, much to Paul's dismay. Dousing it in icing sugar could not hide the poor presentation either. A wet pastry left Martha in tears while Nancy impressed with her shallow and set Passion Fruit Tart in Chocolate Pastry.
Surprisingly, Chetna's Rice, Mangoes and Raspberries Tart lacked flavour and Richard's Poached Figs and Orange Tart drew a damning silence. Yet again Luis wowed the judges, this time with his Tropical Manchester Tart which involved passion fruit, orange, lime and mango though no twisting of melons. Kate's was perhaps the star of the show as her Rhubarb and Custard swirl combined beautifully with the Almond and Rosemary pastry.
This week the technical challenge looked particularly tricky; Mini Pear Pies as devised by Paul. Apparently it was all in the timing, specifically the chilling of the dough and the cooling of the pears after being poached. Get either element wrong and you were bound to disappoint which led to Richard and Chetna co-ordinating their fridge organising, a telling nod to last week's drama.
As usual no-one had seemed to have done it before so Kate looked rushed and Martha appeared sensible which lead to the latter getting top spot. Luis appeared flustered as he struggled to sixth and Richard showed that he is human after all as his pastry simply collapsed leaving him in seventh and last place.
Everyone loves a good pie so making at least three tiers of self-supporting filled pastry goodness was a worthy showstopper. The judges wanted some thought involved and each contestant came up with their own theme. Luis went a further step and created a four tier effort with pork, chicken, venison and duck all topped with seasonal fruit though he lost marks for his pastry being deemed too thick.
Martha plumped for 'Three Little Pigs' of pulled pork, chorizo with a pork and apple finale. Her paprika pastry impressed, a bit of leakage did not but she was safely through. Nancy also went for a trio, of apple featuring pies, and walked away with a smug grin for having not used any tins. Being Richard he seemingly had to go for builders pies yet it was his choice of classic fillings of Steak and Ale, Chicken and Mushroom then Pork and Apple that set his apart. The construction disappointed and he also lost marks due to each being consistently burnt. Finally Paul had some good news as he declared the return of 'The Flavour Queen' as Chetna pulled off her fusion pies.
The final round also set apart the top and bottom for the week. Kate had been a model of consistency throughout and her Pork with Rhubarb and a Prune and Apple coulis proved to be formidable combinations, little surprise then that she was crowned Star Baker. Alas, the knives were out for Norman from the start and though he did try to prove himself as more than simple it proved his undoing. He looked forlorn in front of his 'Pieful Tower' and crumbly, weeping pastry with a seemingly outlandish lavender-infused meringue sealed his fate as he was sent home. Still, at least he managed to present the judges with something.