Series 1 · Episode 4
Last week, Jasmin’s gorgeous Gateau won her the Star Baker title and Meg became the third baker to leave the Bake Off Shed. Now, our nine remaining bakers reinvent the iconic Australian pie, a tantalizing Technical Bake of blood orange and chocolate meringue pie, and a Showstopper challenge to bake a deep dish fruit pie.
The three demanding challenges kick off with Mel and Claire handing down the Signature bake, telling the bakers they need to deliver six individual savoury pies in two hours. Each pie needs to have a pastry base and a lid, but the filling, the size and shape and the decoration is up to each baker.
Pies are special to Maggie. For nearly 15 years at her Pheasant Farm Restaurant, she made pheasant pies every winter for diners. She is looking for a moist filling and uniformity. Matt is looking for perfectly cooked pastry and a well-seasoned filling. All of the bakers make a short crust pastry for their base, being careful to keep an eye on the time. Angela makes a family favourite, her creamy lemon chicken pie infused with thyme and a hint of chilli. But will her chicken breast go dry? Sian has decided to shun the meat to create a vegetarian version of the classic meat and gravy pie. She will use a mixture of porcini, field, button and king brown mushrooms smothered in a creamy ricotta filling. But this could be one risk too far from the beloved meat pie. James, meanwhile, is finding it hard to leave behind his sweet tooth and is adding prunes to his pork loin and sage pie.
Next up is the Technical Bake, with Maggie sharing her recipe of blood orange and chocolate meringue pie with a hazelnut pastry to be baked in a tight deadline of two and a half hours. And, as is often the case with Technical challenges, there are elements of the recipe missing, such as resting time for the pastry. The devil is in the detail and the baking of the pastry is extremely important to get right, as is the consistency of the blood orange curd. The judges blind taste the cakes in front of the bakers and then rank them 9-1.
There’s just one challenge left – the four-hour long Showstopper. For this challenge, Matt and Maggie would like the bakers to recreate a beautiful, elaborate deep dish fruit pie. The family-sized pies needs to be encrusted in pastry and a decorated top. And the pressure is on. Maggie wants size, with perfect size, taste and texture. Matt is looking for a pie that is big; something that absolutely knocks him over and a pie with incredible decoration.
Janice is calling her creation compost pie because it will look like a pile of autumn leaves. Her autumn pear spiced pie will have three different flavours of pastry – chocolate, custard and orange. James is baking a custard-filled apple and nutmeg pie. He will layer the apples in the pie, pour the custard in and hope the custard sets in between the fruit. Suzy is hoping to win over the judges with her classic apple and pear pie, decorated with hearts and toffee apples. Angela is determined to be noticed so is blind baking her own secret recipe for the pastry for her elaborate strawberry, raspberry, apple, rhubarb and almond pie. The huge pie will be decorated with 300 pastry leaves.
Brendan is resisting getting carried away with decorations, going against the advice of the judges and relying instead on taste alone of his baklava-inspired apple, honey and walnut pie.
It’s time for the Maggie and Matt to taste the nine wild inventions, deciding who will be this week’s Star Baker and who will be leaving the Bake Off Shed.
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