The search for Britain's best amateur baker reaches the fifth round and everyone is out to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom as the seven remaining bakers face pies.
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For the last five weeks, we've pitched our Bake Off tent in sunny, beautiful Essex,
where we've reduced our stock of hardworking, hand-picked bakers from 12 to just seven.
We've feasted on cakes, quiches, breads, tarts, and biscuits,
and I, for one, have room for more.
The remaining bakers have got two days of gruelling challenges
to find out if they've got what it takes to stay in the competition.
So welcome to the Great British Bake Off.
Last week, the bakers tackled biscuits
and Jason's flawless macaroons...
-They taste so good!
-..saw him crowned Star Baker.
Along with Holly, who impressed the judges in all three challenges.
But someone had to go and three bad bakes...
-It is a disaster.
..led to Ben leaving the Great British Bake Off.
I'm just disappointed.
This week the bakers confront pies, which drives some to despair...
A big disaster.
-What a mess.
-..but brings out perfection in others.
I can't fault it.
Pies might be considered my weakness, so I can see the hazards ahead.
I was pleased with mine until I saw yours.
The seven remaining bakers now face three daunting challenges
over the next two days -
all based around the humble pie.
But whoever falls short will miss out on their chance
to compete in next week's quarter-final.
Bakers, welcome back to another glorious sunny day,
and today we enter the world of pie.
And today, it's signature bake.
So, for this, you'll be required to produce a hearty family pie
with either a rough-puff or a flaky pastry topping.
OK, you've got eagle eyes and silver fox all over this one,
so, on your marks, get set, bake.
This complex challenge demands the bakers combine making both the pastry
and the filling, and then baking them together.
Timing and flavouring are crucial
and they have just two and a half hours to perfect their signature pie.
Main problems they'll face with the pie is not getting the pastry quite right.
It should have risen beautifully, be finished off well, a nice crust.
And once we cut into the pie, the proportion of the filling
and sauce should complement each other and, of course,
it should be well seasoned.
Both rough-puff and flaky are the best pastries to use when making pies,
as the light crispy texture contrasts with the dense meat, fish or vegetable fillings.
I'm making flaky pastry at the moment.
It doesn't rise as much as puff pastry
but it's really nice on pies, so I'm just hoping that they like it.
Flaky pastry is made by blending flour,
salt and butter to make dough
to which small pieces of butter are then added
before the rolling, folding and resting.
-One, two, three...
You're counting peppercorns. This is precision stuff.
I need to get them all out. I don't want anyone biting on a peppercorn.
-What are you making for us, then?
-I'm making a fish pie.
Yasmin is hoping for success with her family fish pie.
And for an added touch of luxury, she's adding quail's eggs.
-Now, the pastry. You're doing...
-You're doing it the way my mum makes it.
Exactly, that's how my mother did it.
I put it in the freezer this morning so it was nice and hard,
and she used to buy special butter that was just for grating, I seem to remember.
To be honest with you, I'm a puff pastry man myself...
-Not a euphemism.
-I enjoy making puff pastry, so I'm fascinated.
I opted out of puff pastry as I was scared of it not rising.
But he is a professional.
We're all amateurs, which is the difference.
We choose a pastry that's easy to handle and gets good results.
I wouldn't say that flaky was easy, though.
-Right, Holly, it's a hive of industry here.
-Yes, it is.
Tell us about your pie.
It's a three cheese, caramelised onion and potato pie with a flaky pastry lid.
Holly's the only one making a vegetarian pie.
Stilton, potato and caramelised onions are flavoured
with extra Gruyere and strong Cheddar.
My husband is one of those men, if there's not meat in a meal,
he hunts for it, so whenever a vegetarian family come over
I'm not going to make two meals. I have make something that's tasty enough for him to say,
"It's OK that there's no meat." So...
So you have to fool him?
My cooking's just family cooking, you know?
I'm not pretending it's terribly refined or anything.
And that's the way it is.
Janet is making a chicken and bacon pie with chestnuts,
baked in a butter and milk roux.
Usually I make this at Christmas with the remains of the turkey,
but I couldn't bring myself to ask for turkey in May.
It seemed just completely wrong.
So...I'm doing a chicken version.
So, it sort of keeps the theme of Christmas
but in a different form.
Did you get that?
Mary-Anne's taking a novel approach to keeping her dough cool
and her flakes perfect.
What I'm going to do is to put everything into a freezer bag
and then use a rolling pin on the outside
to flatten the hard butter and lard into flakes,
so, rather than do it by consecutive rolling,
I'm going to make the flakes and then mix, add the liquid.
Just two tablespoons of water and one of vinegar
to bring it together into a pastry.
Since the competition began,
Mary-Anne's experimental approach has resulted in some unusual recipes.
And her signature dish of chicken and bacon with flaky pastry
is no exception.
The pastry I'm doing is flaky pastry,
but it's not really the traditional method of making it.
I've chopped up the butter and the fat,
and I've put them in the freezer to harden them up,
and then I've got a mixture of flour, salt,
and a little bit of cream cheese.
Mary-Anne has also added vinegar to her pastry,
which, when combined with fat, inhibits strands of gluten forming -
in theory, keeping it flaky.
Mary-Anne, she was battering something in a plastic bag.
It's rather a mucked-about recipe. We'll see the result, but what a mess.
You know, that bag, and in and out of it. And also, the things that are in it, I mean,
baking powder and vinegar is quite unnecessary. We shall see.
They look like they mean business today.
Mary is dressed as a cowgirl. I think that means business.
She's got her hand in the wrong pocket, though. Should be at the front.
While four of the bakers have chosen to make flaky pastry,
the remaining bakers, Rob, Jo, and Jason, are all making rough-puff.
At the moment, I'm just grating frozen butter.
That'll be mixed into the flour, creating a buttery streak
so when it cooks, those will puff up to make it puff.
Rough-puff is harder to make as it requires definition in its layers
in place of the irregularity of flaky pastry, where imperfections are part of the effect.
-So, you're at the pastry making stage.
-It's quite wet at this stage.
-It is wet at this stage.
Has there been a misunderstanding with the ingredients?
No, because I never actually measure the water, I just put it in.
-That is too wet, though.
-But you can just add a bit more fat.
In his head, I can just hear, "Overworked, overworked, overworked."
Lancashire-born Rob sees pie making as one of his specialities,
and has chosen to make a traditional chicken and mushroom pie
with clove studded onion.
But, in previous weeks, timing has not been Rob's strong point.
I have no idea how long it usually takes me
cos usually, I'm doing it while other people are around
having a drink, so I have no idea.
I think we've got plenty of time, so I'm not worried about this at all.
Once the butter's been combined, the rough-puff dough must be rolled,
folded, turned and rested three times
and must be kept cool so that the butter doesn't melt before baking.
-Have you tested this out on the family?
The kids aren't lovers of pastry, but they all tried the middle.
Dylan loves salmon, and Billy really liked it. Yeah, they did.
-They gave you the thumbs up?
Jo's salmon and asparagus pie is flavoured with a delicate white wine shallot and cream sauce.
Mary and Paul are not expecting the pies to have a pastry base.
However, they do want to see the crust and filling baked together.
-'And Jo's made a controversial decision.'
I'm actually doing a deconstructed pie.
I'm doing my pie topped separately
on a baking sheet in the oven and I'm going to put it on afterwards
because with the salmon, it only needs such a light cooking
and I was a bit concerned about getting all the seasoning
and everything right when it was in the oven,
and I didn't want to overcook it, so I decided to cook my pie top separately.
I think it's rather sad
not to make pastry flavoured by the fish. We'll see.
I'm going to stick with my pastry lid separately
because I practised this at home, and maybe if I'd known Mary wasn't that keen before today,
I would have practised it otherwise, but I have to stick with it,
otherwise it could just all go really wrong.
-What pastry are you using today, Jason?
-I'm making rough-puff pastry.
-Can I have a look at your pastry?
-I've grated the butter in.
-You've just mixed it?
-So you've grated the butter in. OK.
Jason's filling of a spicy Caribbean brown down chicken
may have traditional routes, but it's never been seen in a pie until now.
-Brown down, can you explain?
-Yeah. The brown down is how it's cooked,
so before you cook any of the filling, you heat oil in a pan
with a bit of sugar so it caramelises and adds a nice sweetness.
-I've got quite a few spices.
-Is it like a Cajun style? Or Bajun style?
As their pastry chills,
most bakers have began to tackle what's inside their signature pies.
Bold flavours are essential.
But the judges will also be looking for combinations that complement the rich, buttery pastry.
Ladies and gents,
time flies when you're baking pies.
You've got one hour left on the clock.
Oh, look. OK, using the spoon.
-I don't like this term.
-What is it?
Knocking up the edges.
It makes it sound like you've done something horrible to the pie.
-Did that go according to plan?
Sealing is critical.
If the filling bursts through the pastry, the pie's appearance will be ruined.
Egg wash ensures a golden crust when baked.
-Have you egg washed that enough?
-I hope so.
-I can't go on dipping and dabbing.
No, you're absolutely right. Get it in there.
I don't know why I'm watching it.
It's not going to make it any better, is it?
That's 10 minutes on the pie clock.
Accurate oven time for pies is critical.
While the filling must be perfectly cooked, the pastry must be well risen
and only just golden brown.
-I thought you had yours out?
-I did, and then I shoved it back in again.
-Just to be on the safe side?
That's just two minutes on the pies.
It's a really good fit, thankfully.
SHE BREATHES A SIGH OF RELIEF
OK, the time for pie is nigh.
So bring your pies to the end of your benches
and prepare for judging.
It's judgement time for the signature bake.
-You all right?
Visually, it's got a nice colour.
Overall, it's a nice bake, but the pastry's shrunk
so that means it needed a bit more resting. If it isn't rested and chilled,
that's what happens. It slips in.
Your chicken is slightly overcooked.
You've chosen to cook your pastry separately.
Yes, I didn't want to overcook my salmon.
I don't know whether you've convinced me.
The sauce has split. The flavour of the salmon's good.
It's seasoned well.
My only cause for concern is how thick that is. There hasn't been much of a build up of layers.
-It doesn't look part of the pie.
-No, it does look a separate thing.
-You've got a nice colour to the top.
-A little underdone under the pastry.
Now, doesn't that look good inside?
-You've got some lovely colour in there.
-Your pastry's too thin.
There's not much rise in there. It's rubbery.
It's a lovely flavour. You've got the seasoning right, which is good.
That really does look a lovely, family pie.
It's got a wonderful shine on the top. It's well-risen.
-There's so much filling in there.
-That smells really nice.
I like the colours.
Got some nice layers going on.
That taste is lovely.
You've nailed that taste.
I can't fault it, really.
-You've no idea how much that's made my day.
-She's gone red.
This needs more bake to get the colour.
This is very, very light. It's anaemic.
The chicken is overcooked.
The vegetables are very interesting, the spices are fun.
-It's really quite different.
-The pastry hasn't got much of a rise.
You need to build up more layers in there, because it's quite thin.
The flavour of that, though, is fantastic.
-That's a nice finish on the top, there, Mary-Anne.
-It looks great.
I like the decoration you put on it. The colour's good.
Now, that's a good consistency.
It seems to me a very different, complicated pastry.
-You've got too much vinegar in there, you know.
I can taste it. It's not nice.
The interior is beautiful, well cooked, perfect.
-But that is a... It's a shame.
You haven't got much of a flake. You've got a little bit, see there?
Yes, yes. I think I could have done it thicker, to be honest.
It needed to be thicker and maybe more folds which would have created more of a laminate.
-It's very crispy.
-The chicken is cooked perfectly.
The leeks come through.
The seasoning is right and there's pepper there. For me, it's right.
I think that's good.
Holly is the only baker to escape the judging unscathed.
I'm a little bit in shock. I feel a bit sick, actually.
I'm really pleased. Really pleased.
The others will have to up their game to secure their future in the bake off.
The pastry was underdone. I was trying to not overdo the chicken but the chicken was overdone as well.
I would like to have done better, but what's done is done.
It wasn't all negative, so I'm pleased about that.
I feel quite annoyed with myself, really,
that having made plenty of pastry,
I could have made it quite a lot thicker.
The end result would, no doubt, have been better.
But, you know, we have to just move onto the next thing
and hope to do slightly better.
We ate £150m worth of pork pies in the UK last year. I say "we"...
But a staggering one third of those were made in a small Leicestershire town.
The story of pork pies begins in the early 18th century.
In about the 1720s, there were lots of smallholdings
and farms making cheese, and the by-product is whey.
Whey's very rich in protein, and, of course, it's free.
The smallholders fed it to their pigs. The area became famous for pork.
In the summer, the smallholders would fatten the pigs
and in the winter, when there was less feed, they were slaughtered.
Portions of the meats, the shoulder and the belly, were turned into pork pies,
which is a way of preserving the meat.
Original pork pies were pretty crude,
and were given to the farm labourers who would take them to the field.
At lunchtime, they would break them open and eat the meat inside.
You'd throw away the pastry because the pastry was black, hard, inedible.
Pork pies were being made across the UK.
But in the 1830s, Melton Mowbray's took on star status.
At this time, the region was famous for hunting.
And every winter, the country's most influential lords and ladies
-flocked there for their sport, and to sample the local food.
-During the hunting season,
the labourers would work as grooms looking after the horses.
The aristocracy took a glimpse at these pies and wanted to try them.
They liked the meat, but didn't like this awful pastry coating and wanted a posher version.
At the time, hot water pastry was being developed.
A mix of boiling pork fat and flour which gave crumbly texture and rich flavour. Perfect for pork pies.
The aristocracy loved this. It was a robust meal that they would pack in their saddlebags
and eat literally on the hoof. When the hunt season was over in the spring, the aristocracy
would return to London and tell all their friends about these amazing pies.
Everybody wanted a slice of them.
The bakers in Melton Mowbray would make them out of season, and they would send them
to London on the Royal Mail Stagecoach, one of the first examples of food by mail order.
Almost 300 years later, the Melton Mowbray unique pie
was awarded protected geographical status,
giving the humble pork pie the same kudos as Champagne and Parma ham.
To use the Melton Mowbray name today,
there are some strict rules you must stick to.
Number one is the pork. It must be fresh, British and uncured.
Number two, they're baked with no support,
so there's no tin or hoop to hold them up.
They will naturally sag and you end up with this classic bow-sided, pot-bellied shape.
And number three is that they must be baked
within this designated geographical area around Melton Mowbray.
This is our heartland, and if anyone's going to be passionate and protective of them,
then it's going to be the local community.
To make a Melton Mowbray pork pie takes four days.
Day one, you make the pastry, day two, you make the pie,
day three, you bake it and day four, it's ready to sell and eat,
and that can't be rushed, it's almost reverent,
and that's why we're so passionate about it.
Bakers, no time to rest on the rough-puff laurels.
Now comes the dreaded technical challenge.
As always with the technical challenge, Mary and Paul, it's judged blind,
-so we're going to ask you to leave the tent.
OK, bakers, for the technical challenge,
we're going to ask you to make a batch of six miniature pork pies.
Now, cos the fillings need time to set,
you're making it today and it'll be resting overnight,
so the judging will actually take place tomorrow.
-You've got two and a half hours. We wish you all the very best of luck. On your marks, get set...
Each baker has been given exactly the same recipe and ingredients,
and must produce six perfect miniature pork pies.
As always in the technical bake, the detail of the recipe is missing,
and it's up to the bakers to fill in the gaps using their skill and knowledge.
Paul has set the bakers his own recipe, where the centre contains a difficult-to-achieve surprise.
I try and go straight down the middle so I can get that egg...
-There you go. And you can see...
-That looks beautiful.
You've got the gelatine all around, squared off at the bottom,
-jelly's all the way down to the bottom. You can see it's set.
-And right to the top.
And up to the top. And nicely filled with small pieces of meat.
And again, perfectly in the middle is the quail's egg.
It looks absolutely beautiful.
Pork pies use hot water crust,
an infamously complicated pastry variation that few bakers,
including professionals, are brave enough to use.
I feel a bit out of my depth.
Never made hot crust, whatever it is, before.
Hot water crust pastry is made by heating lard and butter in a pan with water,
being careful not to let the mixture boil
before adding it to flour and salt and mixing into a smooth, shiny dough.
What does it say? Stirring till it comes together...
Work into a ball.
Looks like a ball already.
I'm not going to risk using it all.
That could be my downfall.
The shiny dough must be cool enough to work, but must be moulded while still warm.
It's quite odd working with something that's quite so warm,
since normally with pastry, it's supposed to be cold, cold, cold.
The pastry has to be rolled thin,
but if it cools too much, it becomes flaky, dry and impossible to mould.
I don't get how this pastry works at all.
It's rock hard, it's quite odd stuff.
I used all my strong flour instead of quarter and a half.
Talk about cack-handed! But I can't swap, because I've got floury hands!
I'm worried about time now. I'm going to have to work really fast.
This is pastry 2.0, cos the first one I thought was too wet.
I'm running the risk because... Whoops.
The filling is every bit as difficult.
Pork loin, onion, bacon and parsley must be finely chopped so that it can be tightly packed,
otherwise the egg simply won't be held in the correct position.
I'm so going to cut my fingers today. I'm actually shaking now.
Just being judged on anything is quite nerve-wracking.
Although she's never used hot water crust before,
Yasmin regularly makes pork pies for her children to take to school with them.
I've never seen pork so minced as that. That is a well and truly minced pork, by hand.
I actually chewed it!
Yes, regurgitate your pork, finely.
I just don't want them saying...cos everything says "finely chopped."
-They mean that.
-I don't want to lose out on... "It's nice, but lumpy."
Taking the filling out.
I didn't season it at all,
so definitely not going to get away with that. Unseasoned pork...
OK, let's try this again.
I've never made pork pies.
I've never even boiled a quail's egg before!
I'm not very grand.
I'm not eating like Henry VIII, quail's eggs and lark's tongues.
Working with quail's eggs is a first for many of the bakers.
They need to be boiled only just long enough
so they're firm and easy to peel.
Are you ready? Jump up if you are.
But boil them too long, and once in the pie and in the oven, they'll overcook and go hard.
How long do you boil a quail's egg for, do you know?
No-one seems to know. I don't know.
All I know is under two and a half minutes, cos this is overdone!
I've never boiled an egg before.
-What, just a normal egg or just a quail's egg?
-You've never boiled a normal egg before?
-I don't eat boiled egg.
You can make a macaroon but you can't boil an egg?
Once the egg is packed within the filling, the lids are placed on the pies
with a small hole in each to allow steam to escape
and for the jelly to be poured in after baking.
Then they're well-sealed and crimped to stop the filling seeping out.
The pies are egg-washed and put in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
Bakers, you have got ten minutes of pie fun to go.
Very interesting looking.
I'm going to leave them in there.
They don't look cooked to me.
When the pies are baked, the bakers make the jelly,
which is done by dissolving a leaf of gelatine in hot water
and adding chicken stock for flavour.
Gelatine, where's that? Have I thrown it away?
The warm liquid jelly is then poured in through the steam hole
and will be left overnight to set.
The jelly holds the meat and egg in place.
I have a cunning plan.
OK, that's it, time's up,
and remember these aren't going to be judged until tomorrow,
so you can stand easy, they'll sit in the fridge overnight,
and then, judgment day.
That was hard. I didn't know how much to work that pastry,
I didn't know how the mixture reacted.
It was the unknown that was quite hard.
I think I did a good job of messing it up.
Mine do not look very pork-pie-like.
They exploded a bit and the gelatine was a weird colour.
It's not my finest work, I have to say.
It's not much fun waiting for the judges' overnight verdict.
You over-think. I'll be sitting going, maybe they're too light, I should have cooked them for longer.
It's not good, waiting, at all, it's just more suffering.
The jellies have set, the pies have rested,
and the moment of truth has arrived.
Judging blind, Mary and Paul haven't seen the baking process,
and have no idea which pies belongs to which baker.
The colour's good, the egg is situated bang in the middle.
-The meat's been cooked well. But the pastry's too thick.
-Much too thick.
There's not much jelly in there at all. Hardly any, is there?
-It's got a nice flavour.
This has got hardly any gelatine in there as well.
-And this one is slightly under-baked with the pastry.
I like the look of this one. There's been some form of display.
They tried to create a pattern on the outside, which looks nice, and it's got a good colour on it.
-It's a good bake.
-Pastry is a bit thick, isn't it?
The meat is nicely chopped up in here, small.
Nice flavour. The bake on this needs a bit more of a colour.
There's no attempt of crimping round the outside.
The egg's in the middle, the pastry's thinner.
But it's on the thick side.
But the pieces on the lid, especially, very thick.
It's not chopped very small, is it, the meat?
-It's a little bland.
I must say, I like that appearance.
It looks home-made and inviting, and it's lovely thin pastry.
-I like that.
-So do I.
The pastry on this, it needed more of a bake,
it's very, very soft.
There's not enough meat in there, so it hasn't filled the lid, hasn't touched the top.
-The meat is nice and small.
-And so is the pastry thin.
Little bit bland for me. Little bit more seasoning.
The appearance is a bit irregular.
And again, it's to do with the meat spewing out the top.
It's a lovely thin crust.
That's one of the things that's so difficult to get right.
I'm sure you've found. It's very tasty.
Paul and Mary must now rank the bakes from the worst to the best.
OK, we've made our decisions,
and the person in last place, Mary.
This one here.
The pastry is far too thick. There's not enough filling there and the pieces are far too big.
It needed longer baking as well.
And in sixth place is this one.
It was uncooked in places. I didn't see much gelatine in there as well.
It was quite dry.
And this one. The pastry has come away from the filling
and there's no sign of any jelly in there,
and the bake wasn't so good either.
With Holly fourth and Rob third, the battle for top place in the technical challenge
is between Janet and Mary-Anne.
So, down to the last two. Second place is this one.
They're pretty good, Mary-Anne. I like the way you've done it.
The pastry's a little bit thick at the bottom, but good pie.
And if you're very clever, you've worked out who's number one.
Pastry was just the right thickness.
We've got a little bit of gelatine in there too,
-and the meat was beautifully flavoured and well cut up. Well done.
-I'm very grateful!
To be honest, I'm absolutely amazed because I've never made a pork pie
and never intended to.
So this doing well today is like a little gold star, so that's nice.
So I'm happy. Yes, I'm happy.
Fifth out of seven isn't the best ranking.
It's not a safe place to be.
I know it's not the bottom, but when there are so few people left now,
nowhere's particularly safe to be unless you've just come out first.
I was pretty much expecting to be number seven
from the comments they gave, so it's quite a sad feeling.
It's not good to feel I'm doing so bad.
I feel like I'm letting the judges down, cos I've done well in the past.
I want to win the competition. I don't know if I've got what it takes.
Sometimes I believe I have, sometimes I don't.
It's the final challenge.
There's one last opportunity for the bakers to secure their future in the competition.
I think Jason's in serious trouble.
If his showstopper is in the bottom half, he's in serious trouble.
-This was the separate lid.
-The lid didn't work.
I haven't forgiven her for that. It's not a pie.
-You've got to bring in Yasmin, as well.
-The fish pie yesterday?
-The crust, you said, wasn't...
-It wasn't a great lamination.
The layers weren't there.
-Today, she came third from bottom.
-So this is going to be a very interesting showstopper.
We're going to be watching three people closely.
It's very tight. It is very tight.
Bakers, however stunning those pies were this morning,
they were merely the warm-up act to the main event,
the showstopper challenge.
And for the first time we're asking you to bake a sweet pie.
Mary and Paul are looking for your best meringue pie
that you can possibly come up with.
They're looking for people today who are going to take their baking to another level.
Very best of luck.
-On your marks, get set...
Creating a perfect meringue pie requires accuracy and precision in three demanding baking disciplines.
Their pastry base must be crisp.
Their freshly made custard or fruit filling must be set.
And their meringue topping has to be firm on the outside, but with a soft and chewy centre.
The pies must be ready in just three and a half hours.
This week's showstopper, it should be bold, magnificent, and it should taste superb.
If they're going to use plums or peaches, or lemons or limes,
the key thing is to get that flavour coming through into the filling.
Probably made it about ten times, so practised, but maybe not enough.
Holly aims to impress
by perfecting a base of chocolate shortcrust pastry,
filling it with fresh lime curd and topping it with an Italian meringue.
Now tell us about this pastry.
It's a nightmare to work with!
-Why, Holly, why?
-It's all butter.
It uses egg yolks to bind it.
-What are you doing with that little wodge of pastry?
This is because otherwise my fingernails go into it,
-so I've been pushing.
-With the pastry?
-So I don't go through.
Do you know, Holly, that is a really good tip that everybody should take on board.
I have chosen to make what I've called the Midnight Meringue.
So it's a dark chocolate pastry and a dark meringue
that's either going to be coffee or brown sugar.
I read that brown sugar meringue tastes nice,
and I've never made it so I thought, why not take the British Bake Off
to have a go at making brown sugar meringue?
Mary-Anne's unique pie will have a rich mocha filling
and either a brown sugar or coffee meringue.
She can't decide.
I'm going to mix up both batches of meringue, taste them, see which I like the best,
and then the winner gets to go on top.
She's the one that's original. She's got an interesting crust, and she hasn't even rolled it out.
She got it to the sort of crumb stage, and then worked it into the side, and that certainly works.
-And she's good with the old flavours, Mary-Anne.
-Yes, she is.
I'm under pressure because I have not performed well this week, such a crying shame.
I guess pies aren't my thing,
I think it's something I've just discovered.
Jason's future in the bake off
could rest on a pie with a fresh plum filling
and pastry infused with ground ginger, cinnamon and orange zest.
One of the things which you're particularly strong on
is your combination of flavours,
but you must get technically the bake right. That's the key thing.
As the competition goes on, there's so many...
The things they're picking up on are so tiny, you cannot put your guard down on anything, really.
Rob has to stay focused to pull off his showstopper.
It's filled with fresh rhubarb poached in sugar, star anise and vanilla.
Now, it's all about timings on this one. You're notorious for pushing that right to the limit.
Are you comfortable about getting it done in that time?
Yeah. That's one of the things I've been working on the past few weeks, cos I know I was a bit rubbish.
He's getting better.
You have to speed up into the sense where you don't lose control.
That's the secret. You've got to speed things up.
To keep their pastry cases crisp, the bakers are blind baking,
using baking beans to maintain the shape of their pastry.
These days you might enjoy a lovely sweet meringue pie for dessert,
but in the Middle Ages, they had medicinal purposes too,
which led to some pretty weird pies.
I've come to the British home of medieval folklore, Glastonbury, to find out more.
What were the basic principles of medicine in medieval times?
Medicine was based on ancient Greek ideas,
and these go back to Hippocrates and Galen.
Their theories were based on something called the four humours.
The four humours were bodily fluids.
They were blood, bile, yellow bile and black bile, and phlegm.
Balancing the four humours was essential
in maintaining a person's health, and food played an important role.
What you ate was said to be linked to each of the humours,
and categorised as either hot, cold, wet or dry.
It was believed that if you were sick,
you could achieve good health by eating foods
that opposed your symptoms and rebalanced your humours.
If you've got an excess of a specific humour, you need to get that taken out of your body.
If you don't have enough of a humour, you've got to have it put into your body.
So say I've got a fever,
what might have been good for me to eat in medieval times?
Some fish. Fish is really good, cold and wet.
-To counteract the hot and dry.
It sounds quite sensible, in a way.
Well, every period of time has to have its own system of explaining health and illness,
and this was just part of the medieval system of health beliefs and practices.
In medieval kitchens across England,
cooks attempted to create meals that perfectly balanced the humours.
As health was prioritised over taste,
this often led to the combination of all four elements in one single dish.
The key thoughts behind the medieval desire for health was balance,
so from the cook's point of view you're looking for things
that are hot, dry, cold and wet.
So you're aiming to create the perfectly balanced pie?
I'm looking to create a balanced pie, yes, that's not going to cause ill health in anybody.
To create the perfect pie, pigeons, which were considered light and airy
and rabbits, which were earthy, were poached to provide the cold and dry elements.
Dates were stoned and filled with sugar and ginger
to give the hot and dry ingredient.
So Caroline, you've got the basics of the pie there.
What do we move on to next?
We move on to the custard, which is going to be enriched with bone-marrow.
Right, that's a worry.
That's a slight worry to me,
the idea of a bone marrow in a custard.
When I think of custard, I think bright yellow and sweet.
It's not going to be sweet.
The custard itself is the only liquid in here, so it's wet.
Bone-marrow, dry definitely.
Dry, cold, cold and dry.
Words fail me.
All I know is, I'm going to be eating that.
Now, I have to say, this is a pie that's supposed to be good for health in medieval times.
It doesn't look massively healthy to my modern eyes.
Well, they didn't know about fat, calories, minerals, vitamins.
What they were interested in, was balance of the humours.
I'm feeling in quite good health now.
Whether I will be after eating the pie, we'll see. Here we go.
So what do you think of the pie?
I'm getting savoury at the forefront and I'm getting sweet at the back.
In a mad way, it does taste strangely medicinal.
With their cases baking,
the bakers must use this time to begin preparing their fillings.
Oh, my lord.
You have to be King Arthur to get the knife out of this.
While she's performed well in the first two challengers,
Janet is taking a risk with an unconventional rhubarb, orange and ginger filling.
So this must be precision rhubarb pie coming out. Very unusual to me.
I'm going to do it in the oven, so it doesn't break down.
I want to stand them up like terracotta warriors.
-Just round the edge?
-The whole thing.
-The whole thing?
It's going to take a bit of time to get them all there, but I hope it works.
-I'm sure it will.
-I hope it works.
-It's unique, I've never seen that before.
-Oh, really? Oh, OK.
I've never ever made a meringue this size before.
It will be a bit of a challenge.
Jo's filling features fresh apple puree, whole raspberries and egg yolk,
to create a luxurious fresh fruit custard.
I want to make sure it's nice and smooth.
I don't want to leave anything to chance today.
I'm just taking my time
and giving it much more attention than I ever have at home, to be absolutely honest.
I want it to be perfect.
My pie is going to be a peach and raspberry pie, with peach puree in the bottom
and a raspberry ripple going through it.
The combination between the sweet and slight bitterness coming from that raspberry,
should be good.
It's all about balancing those flavours
and keeping that, for me, separate, because it will turn into a bit of a mush.
This is a better padding.
The bakers face a dilemma with meringue.
They have a choice between preparing the classic French style,
or the notoriously complicated Italian meringue.
Both methods involve separating eggs and whipping the whites until they form soft peaks.
Oh, no, why has that yolk gone in there?
Even a speck of fat in the whites, such as a drop of egg yolk,
will stop the proteins trapping air during the whipping process,
resulting in a flat, watery meringue.
A bit too much meringue in there, but it's OK.
Just a little bit of egg yolk got in the egg white,
but I think I've scooped it all out. I hope so.
Those making French meringues must whip their whites to the soft peak stage
before adding caster sugar and continuing to whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
This is then piped or spooned on top of the filling before baking.
I'm getting a bit of raspberry ripple in the meringue on the top.
A nice bright colour to finish it off.
Holly and Mary-Anne have risked preparing Italian meringue
which uses boiling sugar syrup to cook the egg whites instead of baking.
The syrup is made by melting sugar into water over heat.
Once the syrup's reached 115 degrees centigrade,
it must be poured into the egg whites and whipped until the mixture cools.
Mary-Anne's made life twice as hard for herself.
-Mary-Anne, I hear you're caught in the horn of a dilemma.
I'm undecided with which meringue to put on.
-What meringues have you got?
-We've got brown sugar meringue here
and here we've got the coffee meringue.
-Do you trust my taste buds to give you an opinion?
That's fun fair.
That's lovely. Oh, that's Bonfire Night.
I'll just stop this and you can try it.
It's still got to cool down a bit, so mind yourself.
-You don't make life easy for yourself, do you?
The thing about you, Mary-Anne, is you're a thinker.
-That's always going to hold you back in life.
As Mary-Anne deliberates, it's time for the five bakers making French meringues
to pop them in the oven.
OK, 15 minutes left, everyone, just 15 minutes.
Oh, my gosh!
Wow! I was really pleased with mine until I saw yours.
Having opted for her brown sugar meringue,
Mary-Anne's finishing with just minutes to spare.
She's not the only one.
I don't know if it's done. I can't tell.
It's done at half an hour, leave it for an hour and a half and it goes more and more.
This is like surgery now.
Oh, no! My edge is falling off.
No, that doesn't look good, does it?
-Are you playing jigsaw?
-I can't believe it.
-The 'Janet' jigsaw puzzle.
-There's this wobble I like.
-Do you know what it is?
I think it's sitting on the filling.
It's like a turban, isn't it? A meringue turban.
Despite being warned by Paul to watch his timing, Rob's pushed it right to the wire.
Has it got to be out of the tin?
OK, the meringue challenge has reached a stiff peak. It's time to stop, time is up.
Oh, yes. Bam!
-The meringue looks great.
-Just... I can't do anything.
For one of these bakers, this will be the last time they face the judges.
Janet, would you like to bring your pie up?
It looks fantastic, I'm telling you now.
You've got a really nice colour round the edge, as well.
There's a little patched up hole here. I bet you find it.
You've got a decent bake underneath, which is quite surprising with the amount of liquid that's come out.
I could feel it was baked underneath.
-That is delicious.
-The pastry is crisp and delicious.
I'm flabbergasted, that you've managed to bake the base with that much fluid on it.
That meringue is beautiful. Well done.
It's dark, it's bold.
To me, it looks jolly original.
That's just what we want, to be able to get out the slice in one piece.
I think that is scrumptious. So original, so different.
Technically, that Italian meringue should've been firmer.
It's too creamy.
Haven't you put brown sugar in the top? In the Italian meringue? That's why it's not set.
When you use brown sugar in a meringue, you're never going to get it.
It's always a bit runny.
Your base is cooked well.
Yes, success with the base, lovely and short.
The filling is very sharp, very good.
I don't get too much chocolate because it's so thin on the base.
I think it's wasted.
For overall look, it looks attractive.
It would've been as good to use a sweet paste, a normal, conventional sweet paste.
It would've given it more stability.
A bit of liquid coming out again.
The pastry underneath is soggy and not quite cooked enough.
The ratio of meringue to filling is rather too much.
I tell you what, the plum sauce, I can't taste anything. This is bland.
Plums essentially don't have that flavour to carry through.
-It's nice and soft in the middle.
-It's just like eating a meringue - I can't taste anything else.
-It's happened again, hasn't it, Rob?
-Showstopper, a big disaster.
Yeah, it's kind of fallen apart.
It's just a little disappointing when we look into it.
I think you've got a nice meringue.
The rhubarb's not quite done enough as well. It's quite hard.
It all tastes very good, but it hasn't worked as a whole.
Visually, I love the top, I love what you've done to that. I think it looks great.
The sides look underdone, for sure. You've got big areas on the side,
so I wonder what it's going to be like underneath.
-Nice to see the layers, isn't it?
-It is quite wet down at the bottom.
-Actually, your structure is quite stable.
The pastry is raw underneath.
-Technically, the outside has let you down.
And that's the baking bit.
Jo, last but not least.
Now, the arrival of your meringue has coincided
with the arrival of monsoon season.
The pastry looks well cooked.
However, there are lots of pieces missing.
-I just wanted to have a quick look at the base.
-It's actually baked underneath.
-Well baked underneath.
-It's nice and short as well, that, which is good.
-It's lovely pastry, isn't it?
The meringue melts, which is nice.
It just looks a bit messy. But overall the actual tastes are very good.
I don't think it was good.
Obviously, Paul made a point of saying that my pastry wasn't cooked enough, and that's the baking part.
I think I'm probably being considered for the chop this week.
I was really disappointed in that result.
I think there's only a certain amount of mess-ups that you can do before being kind of knocked off,
so I kind of know that my head's on the chopping block.
But the other chances went all right, so...
To me, I just feel kind of anxious.
Do I think I'm out, or is there a glimmer of hope that I might be in?
I'd definitely say there's a glimmer of hope.
Paul and Mary must now decide who should be this week's star baker
and who won't be coming back for this year's quarter-final.
Let's look at the positive end of the spectrum - star baker. Now, who are the contenders this week?
-Certainly Janet and Mary-Anne.
-She's had a very good weekend, hasn't she?
-Fair to say that Jo has had a real rollercoaster of a weekend.
She's been bumbling through and I think this has lifted her out of the depths.
-Just saved her.
-Because of the flavour. Rob's come in with this and it's just a mess, it's unbaked.
And even I went round before and said to him,
"Listen, you've got to get your timings right."
Now, that, for me, brings him immediately straight into the danger zone.
-Because you gave him an official warning?
-He's been warned so many times about the same thing.
-Let's talk about Yasmin.
-It is underdone, slightly, on the side.
I thought it was stunning on the top, but the peach
was absolutely lost with the raspberries.
And her pork pie? She came... Fifth out of seven.
So is she still hovering around the red danger zone?
-She's still hovering. Yes, she is.
-So Jason didn't do have a brilliant day yesterday, did he?
You look at his pork pies, he was at the bottom. And then you look at the showstopper.
All you've got is aerated meringue with a taste of plums underneath.
And you've got no flavour in plums.
There is no flavour, intrinsically, in a plum.
It's gutting because he's got so much promise.
He was star baker, he shared it with Holly last week and he's had it the week before.
The bakers that we're looking to win are the consistent ones,
and they have to be consistently good at everything.
So in the drop zone we have Jason, Rob, Yasmin.
Will one go or will two?
-And the thunder breaks on cue.
-I think that was Mary.
First of all, well done, you magnificent seven.
You have grafted so hard
and we've had the most fantastic pie bake off, so well done.
Let's start with a resounding positive.
Now, this week the judges were in total agreement
as to who should be our star baker.
And so this week's star baker is...
Unfortunately, you know the drill,
we can't take all of you on to our next bake off.
So today we're going to be saying goodbye...
..and to Rob.
-I'm so sorry, guys.
-We're sad to see you go.
-We are very sad to see you go.
-Oh, guys, that is a gutter, it's a gutter.
Rob left today because it was one mistake too many.
And, in fact, it came to a point a few weeks ago
where I had to say something and say, "One more big mess-up like that and you're out."
And unfortunately we had it today.
Jason is 19, but he just didn't have the skills and the background to baking.
In my industry at the moment there's a lack of youth coming through.
It was lovely to see the passion they've got for baking.
Jason's just had a chat with me and said,
"I think I want to give up design and I want to go into baking."
And I said, "If that's what you want to do, do it."
It's just really proven to me that it's something that I'm not only good at, but I really enjoy.
When I'm doing it, I'm always smiling,
so hopefully I'll be able to fulfil that dream, and one day, you know,
look out for me, you'll see me doing something big.
I'm so gutted. I was really hoping to be in the final four.
It's meant a lot to me, being in this competition.
When it's something that you're really passionate about
it becomes really emotional.
Yeah, it's hard taking criticism.
I've learnt loads, so I'm only going to take positives from this.
I have dodged a bullet. Who'd have thought that?
I think I got in by the skin of my teeth there.
I'm very surprised that today I came out on top, and obviously
my family are going to be really, really pleased, and my friends, too.
-I got the star baker today.
-"Oh, well done!"
Isn't that just crazy?
Next time, it's an all-ladies quarter-final...
-What level of stress are we on, between one and ten?
Where the remaining five face three challenging desserts:
-A baked cheesecake...
-I hope they like it.
To be honest, there's not a lot I can do about it now.
-Mary Berry's chocolate roulade...
-This doesn't even count as a roulade, it looks like a disaster.
No one has got a tight roll.
And finally, a showstopping French speciality.
Let's face it, I'm just showing off for the judges.
-Your creme patisserie is absolutely perfect.
-They are to die for.
-Who will be crowned Queen of Desserts?
-You've nailed that.
And who will be knocked out before the semi-final?
At this stage, it is really difficult to pick between them.
This is the week to watch.
The person that very sadly will be leaving us...
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
The search for Britain's best amateur baker, with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, reaches the fifth round and everyone is out to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom as the seven remaining bakers face pies.
The marquee is soon filled with the delicious aroma of fresh baking as the signature challenge has the bakers doing all they can to impress acclaimed master baker Paul Hollywood and legendary cookery writer and baker Mary Berry with their signature family pie. Topping their pie with either flaky or rough puff pastry, some decide to play it safe whilst others get more experimental.
Next is the dreaded technical challenge where for lifelong vegetarian Jason delivering six individual, beautifully baked and seasoned pork pies to the judging table proves problematic.
Finally, there is a sweet showstopper challenge in the shape of a meringue pie. The judges' expectations are high with hopes of crisp pastry bases and delicious custard and fruit fillings topped with a perfect meringue. But the pressure of pies proves too much for some. Who will be named Star Baker and who will leave The Great British Bake Off?