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The GBBO 2019 round-up: Pastry Week

Pastry Week meant an episode of soggy bottoms and dry pies in a tough quarter-final The final five enter the tent for Pastry Week, ready to tackle...

Image credit: Ep8. Henry and Prue.

16th Oct 2019

Pastry Week meant an episode of soggy bottoms and dry pies in a tough quarter-final

The final five enter the tent for Pastry Week, ready to tackle the notoriously fragile ingredient in a baking hot tent... *WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS*

The Signature

After each of the bakers expresses their dislike of pastry (bodes well), the bakers are given their first challenge: a savoury Tarte Tatin. Paul dives in straight away with the first 'soggy bottom', warning them not to include too much liquid. The fans are out, and the pastry is being shoved in the freezers to keep them cool. Henry continues on with his delightful shirt and tie combo regardless. For his tart, he's using crab, new potatoes and tomato, while David is going for 'caramelly carrots'. Rosie has gone for shallots, aubergine and goats cheese, and Steph is opting for cheese and onion. Alice is also getting in on the cheese action with her leek, apple and goats cheese tart. However, it may not be the best idea as Steph mentions to Sandi that Paul had come over to say he doesn't like goats cheese. Oops. The heat rises and while Steph starts pulling some impressive yoga moves, David has crafted a wet tea towel around his head. Let's hope his creativity in keeping cool extends to his bake. The moment has come for the tarts to come out of the oven, and the turning over is tense... The judging begins with Henry, who has some nice lamination and delicious flavours. David's tart was thought to be burnt, but it turns out its just purple carrots. Whatever you say, David. Even if it wasn't burnt it was still very dry and needed the sauce that he had laid out. Alice's lattice of leeks was admired by Prue, but Paul thought it was "too wet" and spotted a soggy line running through the bottom. Steph's pastry was very thin, and Paul was not too pleased with the goat's cheese sat on top. But the "flavour couldn't be argued with", so it worked out OK for Steph. Rosie, however, did not fare so well as she fell victim to a proper soggy bottom. Not only that but it "looks a bit charred", and Prue thought there was too much garlic. Not good. [caption id="attachment_23418" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ep8. Alice.[/caption]

The Technical

Next for Pastry Week, the technical challenge: a Moroccan pie using warqa pastry. Paul and Prue explain how this kind of pastry is very thin, and they are interested to see how the bakers would get on. Cue: chaos. After the customary confusion from the bakers, they got going brushing the pastry onto a hot plate balanced over a pan. They all struggled to get the consistency right, and Steph seemed near breaking point, poor thing. While they waited for the pies to cook, the bakers played a game of catch with a lime. Amazing. Waiting until the last minute, the pies are taken out the oven and... immediately burst in Henry and Rosie's case. What a disaster. Henry came last, with Steph and Alice next and Rosie came second. Even though Rosie's are arguably the biggest mess. Prue explained that despite the bursting the "pastry was so excellent" they rated her highly. That left David as the winner, at long last, as he has been coming second for many weeks! [caption id="attachment_23419" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ep8. David and Prue.[/caption]

The Showstopper

For the last task in Pastry Week, the bakers are asked to make a large pie base, supporting two further vertical pies. They could use any pastry they liked, and Paul was quick to note that their choice would be "critical". The pastry needs to be "thin enough to be delicious, and firm enough to hold the whole thing together". Alice is making a tree trunk, with an apple pie treehouse on top using shortcrust pastry and Steph is creating a carousel out of her chickpea and potato pie. Rosie is baking a Rapunzel tower pue using hot water crust pastry. The judges were aghast as she announces her intentions to make NINE PIES. Are you crazy Rosie? But one of these would be a camembert dragon, which we can get on board with. David is going for a Whitby fish nautical themed pie, without any lids. This causes much confusion, as surely a pie is not a pie without a lid? Henry's pie is to be an 'upside chandelier', using a sweet and savoury mix that Paul isn't sure about, leading to another classic Henry v Paul exchange. The iconic duo continues as Paul did his signature creepy staring while Henry bakes. The last few moments are a struggle as some of the bakers struggle to get their pies out of the tins, and constructing their vertical pie structures is intense. The walk over to the judges is even more nerve-wracking for Rosie this week, as her tower wobbles, leaving Sandi to come to the rescue. The judges love her design, but this time the pastry is too thick. "The idea was brilliant... texture all wrong", said Paul, as Rosie retreats. Next up: Alice, whose treehouse design is "exceptional", but the pastry is "tough as old boots", according to Paul. It may have been "very imaginative" but "not quite there". David's pie-that-isn't-really-a-pie is "wonderfully intricate", but ultimately overseasoned and very dry. "I love it!" declares Prue as Steph came over with her carousel pie, giving her a thumbs up. It is "delicious and not too dry", so looks like Steph is in for another 'Star Baker' win this week. Lastly, Henry's pie is described as "one pie on top of another". Er, wasn't that the brief? The decoration fails to impress, and the pastry was so thick it was raw in some places and "very dry, bone dry". Paul said his chocolate pie tasted like a mince pie. "Do you like Christmas?" "Bah, humbug." Not looking good for Henry. The star baker was no surprise: Steph once again. But the baker sent packing was quite a shock to us and the internet, as Henry had to leave. Pastry Week did not go the way we hoped. We're sad to see Henry go, but from the looks of next weeks preview, we're in for an exciting semi-final, as the bakers face Patisserie Week. See you then.

Inspired to learn more about pastry? Read our 101 Guide! Missed last week? Catch up with all things Bake Off!

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