The Great British Bake Off: Pies and Tarts
September 4, 2014 10:13 AM - Season 5, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Almost halfway through the Bake Off and the remaining bakers are facing pies and tarts. No self-respecting home baker is complete without being able to make all kinds of pastries, and today the bakers are challenged to do just that.

Starting with a signature custard tart that gives more than one of them a wobble, the bakers must make sweet custard tarts of their own invention, ranging from 'rhubarb and custard' to 'chocolate and coconut' to a 'tropical Manchester tart' (a tart with tropical flavours made by a Mancunian).

Paul sets the bakers mini pear pies; one of the more unusual technical challenges that the Bake Off has seen. The bewildered bakers get in a twist as they attempt to wrap poached pears in a spiral of rough puff pastry, whilst Mel investigates the ancient wedding centrepiece that was the aphrodisiac known as bride pie.

Finally, the bakers battle their biggest bake yet; three-tied pies. In just four hours they must create a towering collection of pies from any pastry or pastries they like. With 'three-little pig' pies and a 'pieful tower', Mary and Paul have their work cut out for them and Mel and Sue really will eat all the pies...
posted by mumkin (11 comments total)
Here's a link to the photo gallery. The chocolate crusted passion fruit tart looks especially lovely!
posted by troika at 10:28 AM on September 4, 2014

It didn't really surprise me that Norman went. He never seemed to try for the complexity Mary and Paul wanted. To be honest he seemed a little set in his ways. That said, I'm sure his bakes taste amazing! But this isn't a show about home baking, otherwise everyone's cakes would be collapsed.

Its a shame Diana's illness means she dropped out, bingate or no bingate.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:40 PM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

No, he was charmingly authentic, I suppose, but Norman never seemed to understand just how high the bar was set. Topping your show-stopper with a laminated piece of PrintShop-iana that says "Pie-ful Tower"—regardless of how good your bake went—wasn't gonna do it. I'm a bit surprised that they eliminated anyone at all, what with Diana leaving unscheduled, but Norman was the obvious choice. There's an ace up their sleeve for some future episode, when it gets tight and everyone wins for the week.

I really wanted to see and hear more about Chetna's 4-tiered pie full of Indian dishes but all we got was "The Flavour Queen is BACK"?! Maybe we could've taken a shorter trip to the world of medieval bridal pies in exchange, hey?

All in all, now I want to bake a hot water crust meat pie.
posted by mumkin at 5:29 PM on September 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I feel like with Norman, his charms as a person and his flaws as a baker were two sides of the same coin. He's a a plain man of plain tastes and when he was able to stay in his wheelhouse and do stuff he was familiar with he could be technically accomplished. But being that by his own admission the dude hadn't had a lemon tart until he was forty-something years old, he was out of his wheelhouse pretty much immediately.

Personally I like that they stick the food history bits in; I've learned a lot about a plethora of heretafore unknown to me an sometimes rather outré British pastries thereby. Watching this show does make quite clear some of the differences between the American and British palates, which is interesting.
posted by Diablevert at 6:55 PM on September 5, 2014

Oh, and here's Chetna's Pie recipe (simplified, I assume). How tempting.
posted by mumkin at 11:04 AM on September 6, 2014

Any interest in continuing to discuss this show? I just watched this episode and the previous one, and I'm thoroughly charmed. A shame Norman had to go (though he definitely had to go), I really enjoyed his address to the haggis.
posted by peacheater at 4:37 PM on February 13, 2015

I will miss Norman. And his accent. I think he came from the area my grandmother did.
posted by bq at 10:59 PM on December 24, 2015

On Netflix, we don't get the history bits. :(
posted by ocherdraco at 7:58 PM on January 15, 2016

I watched the most recent season bootleg-style as it aired, and now I'm going back through this season on Netflix (it's the 'first' season of 'The Great British Baking Show'). I think today I'm gonna make a steak pie with a hot water crust! I've never made any kind of meat pie before, but damn they looked good.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:26 PM on July 4, 2016

Watching this season for the 3rd time (on Netflix) and just realized it was on fanfare. I've been wanting to make a meat pie for years now but haven't gotten down to it yet. It's a pretty big commitment when you aren't sure how it will turn out or if anyone will help you eat it.
posted by bunderful at 5:46 PM on November 26, 2018

Just discovered that seasons 4-9 are available legally to stream in Canada through CBC Gem. I may be late to the party, but this show is a delight.
posted by peppermind at 5:40 PM on May 17, 2020

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