Why hello, its Pie week on GGBO! As it turns out, pies are pretty difficult to make well, with this week turning out to be a rollercoaster of disasters and leaking jelly in which none of the contestants did consistently well.
First up was the signature Wellington, a slab of meat wrapped in pastry that seemed to cause problems for everyone. Manisha, and Sarah-Jane did poorly, with poor Sarah- Jane’s version being compared to the bursting-out-of-the-stomach thingy from Alien. Harsh indeed, but then she did blatently IGNORE Paul and Mary’s advice about refrigerating her pastry which is what caused the collapse. Money on her to go next week for disrespecting the Maul duo.
As a non-meat eater, I was impressed that Danny attempted a veggie version, although it was also met with Paul’s derision – he lambasted it as having no flavour and lacking something – (something like a lovely great big slab of meat).
Brendan was the only one who really won anything like praise but then perhaps the Wellington is a classic 70s dish?
Next up was the technical challenge which was a bit boring since absolutely none of the contestants managed to make a good meat pie using the wooden dolly thingy. Rather than rating the results from best to worst, Paul and Mary were forced to rate from ‘horrendous’ to ‘least awful’ with Ryan doing the worst (having accidentally made a pasty) and John producing something relatively okayish.
Finally, the showstopper, and after the meatiness of the first two rounds I was very much looking forward to a return to sweet baking! The contestants were tasked with making an ‘American Pie’ and set about producing a range of loveliness from Key Lime to Sweet potato to Chocolate Pecan pies.
After his poor performance in the first half of the show, and inconsistent performance on past shows, I fully expected Ryan to be going home, but his slapdashed Key Lime Pie wowed the judges (THE BEST RECIPE EVER ON THE BAKE OFF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!). I’ll have to make it and share it here so we can judge whether it really is deserving of Paul’s praise.
Other contestants fared much much worse, with Cathryn’s AMAZING looking peanut butter and chocolate pie being called ‘tasteless’ – How?! It looked so yummy! – and even James (James, the saviour of baking, the heir to Edd’s bake off crown!) having a bad week with a pecan sweet potato pie which wasn’t showstopping enough. Poor James looked like he was about to burst into tears, but I’m sure he’ll be back on top soon enough.
So who went home? I have a feeling it was a close run thing with Danny and Sarah-Jane also having poor weeks (and poor bake offs overall so far), but Manisha got the chop. To explain why, I must quote the Radio Times Bake-Off recap since there’s no possible way I can explain it better than they have –
“”Definitely out this week, people,” said Manisha, an arc of crust having left her pie and hit the work surface.
As Manisha tried to jam it back in, Mel Giedroyc loomed. Not following Mel’s advice is very much the key to GBBO success, but when she suggested filling the gaps with bright white meringue, Manisha astonishingly went along with it. The finished product might as well have come with a sign saying: “My pastry snapped HERE, HERE and HERE.”
As Paul cut into her pie, the filling slithered out and tried to attack him. Manisha had to go.” – See full recap here
So Manisha’s gone and Ryan, improbably enough, won star baker on the strength of his one good dish. So who’s looking good and who’s in the drop zone for next week? Brendan is comfortably leading the pack with John, James and Cathryn still up there despite having a bad/mixed week this week. Ryan is firmly in the top group after his Key Lime miracle, although a bad week could send him spiralling out (the judges don’t like inconsistency). Definitely in the drop zone are Sarah-Jane and Danny, with my money on Sarah-Jane to be going home next week. You don’t disrespect Queen Mary!
Next week – puddings! The contestants will be making Mary Berry’s own Queen of Puddings recipe plus a showstopping but stressful Strudel (sorry)
PS – Bonus hidden recap material for those who read to the bottom – check out this interview with Paul in this weeks Telegraph.