The Great British Bake Off: Dessert Week
October 11, 2022 1:14 PM - Season 13, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The bakers tackle lemon meringue pie and create a sponge cake with a hidden surprise.
posted by ellieBOA (14 comments total)
I find the new focus on easy tension of upset bakers very irritating. This is not why I watch GBBO! I want to see people helping and consoling each other in a friendly competition. The whole thing takes hours, so there must be friendly banter and good moments between the bakers, yet the editing choices are making it feel like a cold and competitive tent now.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:22 PM on October 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

Definitely, and Noel is really trying to encourage competition between bakers when there isn’t any!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:15 PM on October 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

This was a really rough episode. I wonder if Syabira falling apart this week had to do with the dumb comments about her sweetcorn flavors last week--she even mentioned the sweetcorn. It makes me angry. And Prue's "make a lemon meringue pie"? Really? It's not the final, give some directions for heaven's sake. I'm really getting tired of them holding home bakers to professional standards and expectations. That's what Bake Off: The Professionals is for.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:05 AM on October 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

I loved Syabira's sweet corn joke. And it's a bummer that her flavors were off, because her steamed puddings were so gorgeous. Even knowing they probably tasted like cheap watermelon candy, I would still clamor to eat one.

Very happy for Sandro, that earth was ambitious and came off well.

I didn't think the technical was that outrageous (by GBBO technical challenge standards). The results varied, but no one seemed at a loss for what a lemon meringue pie was. I'm not sure any of the bakers would have been helped by getting a few more vague instructions.

Goodbye and good luck to Carole's marvelous mad madam mim hair.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:56 PM on October 14, 2022 [6 favorites]

I was happy for Sandro, but c'mon Paul that globe deserved a handshake you twit. And it seems like Prue has been taking on Paul's attitude in the last two episodes. I don't want two obnoxious judges. I already want Paul off the show and have for a while, so I don't want Prue jocking for the same position.

I do hope Syabira is able to recover next week as she has been a fierce competitor, and I want Paul and Prue to write her a formal apology about her sweet corn cake. And I mean a real apology where they take full take responsibility for having "mexican week" and then shitting on a cake that absolutely celebrates mexican baking unlike a freakin steak taco.

I've found the presenters especially painful this season, and Noel's joking about competition just fits right in with that trend. I find myself increasingly hoping that GBBO will either get scrapped entirely or given a major overhaul complete with new judges and presenters. I am descending into hate watching the show and that is just heartbreaking for me.
posted by miss-lapin at 3:51 AM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I found this one pretty excruciating as well. The gap between the top and bottom bakers is too wide this season and the bakers who are struggling are too painfully upset about it.

It may just be time to revisit the old BBC seasons and stop torturing myself trying to enjoy this shambling wreck of a show I used to love.
posted by merriment at 4:44 AM on October 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

Lemme try something real quick. I'd like to believe about myself that I could improvise a lemon meringue pie without a recipe. Blind, I'm going to guess it would take:
15 oz condensed milk, 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp zest for the filling
4 egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar for the meringue
3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 sticks butter for the pie crust (although a cookie crumb crust would be better)
Let me google that -- and ... huh. Not too far off. Too many eggs, maybe too much sugar. The pie crust wouldn't get far without ice water, which I forgot. And I don't know that the British would use condensed milk, which seems like a very American thing to have in your desserts -- sweet and easy.

Anyway, sorry about that. I agree that there's not a good slate of competition at this point. Janusz, Sandro, and Maxy are professional quality, and there's not a lot of tension, except for the tension about whether the skits are going to be insufferable or merely unfunny. But I am still watching because I've come to like these people (except for the Tory) and I want to see what they've come up with, which has always been the appeal.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have never made Lemon Meringue pie with condensed milk because I don't make lemon curd with condensed milk. Key Lime pies definitely require it though!

I'm pretty sure I saw everyone putting an egg in their pie crust and no water, making it more of a pâte sablée. They also used 6 separated eggs.

And Prue's "make a lemon meringue pie"? Really? It's not the final, give some directions for heaven's sake.

They had the ingredients listed- there was a shot with a full page of typing on someone's counter. Just no steps. As long as you knew pie crust + lemon custard/curd + meringue I think you could suss it out as an accomplished amateur baker.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

GBBO did pull the "no recipe, no method" stunt once before, in the final of series 7. Dunno if they gave amounts for that one, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:26 PM on October 16, 2022

Agree with oneirodynia...the experienced amateur with lots of reps making pie crusts should have had not a of trouble with this.
posted by mmascolino at 8:53 PM on October 16, 2022

I am so tired of hearing the word "perfect" from the judges -- or worse, hearing that something is not perfect, or such "a shame."
They are amateur bakers, if talented. Must they be perfect, and must the bakes be so strange?

I am yearning for a nice Madeira cake with candied lemon rind -- something not too ridiculous that people have heard of and everyone might like to attempt baking.

As an aside, I just finished watching one series of British Junior Bake Off and that was a delight. Liam Charles and Ravneet Gill were the judges, and the host was Harry Hill. Hill was delightful with the kids, funny and respectful. This was on Netflix but I cannot find the rest of the series. Anyway, it was a lot more enjoyable than what we have been getting from GBBO, sadly.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 10:16 PM on October 16, 2022

The Not-So-Great Defector Bake Off Plays Fast And Loose With Dessert Week: I also bought extra lemons (a much more reasonable 12 lemons), because there was one ingredient that I did not like to see in this recipe: Orange juice.

Apparently the bakers were given oj for Prue's version of lemon meringue pie? I think this is worse than not giving them a method, tbh. But I am very partial to lemons, maybe generic citrus meringue pie is largely accepted.
posted by the primroses were over at 9:20 AM on October 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Lemon merengue pie has three distinct elements that appear in many recipes, and should be something anyone serious enough to appear on GBBO could wing. And mostly everyone did, half of the pies looked like they’d be enjoyable to eat, which is about median in terms of technical challenges. It was a technical challenge that actually rewarded technical expertise.

The show will never be as charming as it was in Mel and Sue era, but geez, all these threads ever are anymore is complaining about Paul Hollywood (he’s always been a jerk), how unfunny the skits were (Mel and Sue are really lovely people I’d love to hang out with, but they were rarely funny on Bake-Off), and how unfair and mean the show is to the contestants (they know what they’re getting into at this point, and still seem to be happy to be there).

This season has a really nice group of contestants, and maybe it’s been clear who has a shot at the final and who doesn’t from episode one, but we’re not here for the drama, right? I still enjoy the show, but it’s hard to read these threads. I’m rooting for Sandro, how he’s bursting with pride when he’s done well and revels in the praise. I also think Syabira could go on a run and beat anyone on this show. And I’ll still be happy to see Janusz win because he’s an amazing baker.
posted by skewed at 4:03 PM on November 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

Agreed, skewed. People seem very…precious about this show, and it’s a bit baffling to see people going off on the show’s “meanness” as if it’s devolved into American Gladiators. It’s still an extremely nice show! Noel and Matt are cheeky and perhaps not as nurturing as Mel and Sue, but they’re still nice! Paul Hollywood has always played a heel and Prue is not as endearing as Mary Berry, but the judging still seems pretty measured and fair. In the end, the show’s only purpose has been entertainment; it was never meant to be therapy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:04 PM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

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