Pastry week #GBBO

“An equation for the perfect pie”

The week where soggy bottoms break people’s dreams – where is Mary when you need her! 

They’ve missed a trick on pastry week – last year we had pies, voulevants and this year it seems like a pie overload! What about choux pastry eclairs, jam tarts, filo pastry spring rolls? They could go so much more adventurous and give us a little variety, but they may as well call it pie week! Disappointed Love Productions. Disappointed. 

Signature: Shortcrust Savoury Pies 

Shortcrust is effectively three ingredients – that make a hell of a lot of mess in the kitchen. And the one thing shortcrust pastry doesn’t like is moisture – something most fillings contain! 

A few things you can do to try and prevent this:

  • Blind bake your pastry
  • Seal the pastry with egg and then refrigerate 

I’d always go for the blind bake – more of a fool proof solution in my opinion. 

A lot of the bakers had doubts about their pies! Surprising when they’ve had all week to practice them. Liam could be up there again – “Decent,” Sophie did well but poor Kate…

But the ‘Pru Pat’ was introduced – never mind the Hollywood Handshake! 

Technical: pasteis de nata

And don’t they look gorgeous! 

Rough puff is one of the easiest pastries to make – not that I could make it without a full recipe. But it doesn’t need as many folds and turns as a full puff. 

Liam and Stacey were a bit stuffed when they rolled their pastry the wrong way – they can’t just roll the pastry all back together because they will lose all of the layers that they have worked so hard to achieve. 

The pasteis de nata are perfect for using up the egg yolks left over when baking – seems like I need to start making these as I always make icings and meringues that just use the egg white. I end up with a lot of yolk wastage. 

Noel – if you’re going to read out a stat about a Portuguese footballer, at least get his name correct…Christian Ronaldo is not one of the greatest footballers of all time and Ballon D’or winner… (never thought I’d be referencing one of my footballing heroes in my baking blog – any excuse!) 

Showstopper: Hand-raised pie

What is a hand-raised pie? It uses a mould so you can shape the hot water crust pasty around the outside – never made a hand-raised pie but I have made hot water crust pastry. 

Once the pastry is chilled, you remove it from the mould and then fill it – but it is a challenge. Especially when you’ve left baking parchment in the bottom Stacey! A good tip, from Steven, is to create a little hole in the pastry to prevent a vacuum. He knows his stuff, but keeps letting us down on his flavours. Oh how the double star baker has fallen. 

Star Baker: Liam (finally got his crown!)

Leaving the tent: Julia

Looking forward to the first ever Italian week next week – see you then! 🇮🇹 

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