As the cloud of icing sugar settled over the 'bingate' debacle, order was restored to the Great British Bake Off tent last night – well, kind of
Like you, our GBBO beliefs were shaken to their very foundation last week in the wake of the great baked alaska meltdown. This week we were faced with news that Diana Beard had left the show due to illness (it’s filmed months in advance, so no ‘bingate’ conspiracy theories, please).
After some quick tributes it was back down to more important issues: pies and tarts. And most importantly, making a really big custard tart.
The key to a nice tart was a wobble, apparently, but Norman (the Scot has been skating on very thin icing – we think he should have gone weeks ago. #BringBackIain) proclaimed the secret was in military-style neat and tidy pastry – although compared with Luis' pristine lined case, his looked like it had been dragged through the Highlands backwards by an entire kilted regiment.
There were a number of flavour combo blunders too, with favourites Richard, Martha (yes, MARTHA), and Kate all suffering disappointed faces from Paul and Mary. And we saw our first soggy bottom of the series. Poor Martha.
The technical challenge – making Paul’s mini pear pies (think poached pears mummified in rough puff pastry) – proved tricky too. Some of the contestants' efforts looked OK, but not even Richard’s pencil could save his slumped pastry and undercooked pears.
That's the first time on the Bake Off when if everything was going pear-shaped, the bakers were on the right track. Martha took the title of star baker and the ‘soggy bottom’ was replaced by ‘fat bottom’. Take note, GBBO bingo fans.
On to the showstopper: a three-tiered stack of filled pastry goodness. Norman decided to top his sweet pie with lavender meringue (seriously?) and it was the first time ever that we've pitied the judges for having to tuck into baked goods all day long.
Martha’s sprung a leak and Chetna was back to her flavoursome best. Kate’s perfect pork pie tower (*spoiler alert*) sealed the deal to hand her star baker status and Norman came to the end of his GBBO journey. Come on, are you really that surprised?
High point: Kate's rhubarb, prune and apple pork pies. It's literally all we can think about for lunch. How far away does she live?
Low point: Norman's lavender meringue. Just, why?
Takeaway tip: don't make lambs' testicles the centre of your wedding breakfast. Nothing good ever comes from a GBBO history lesson. Please. Stop.
Did the right baker go: Yes. Sorry Norm.
Next week is European cake week: cue kickoff from UKIP. Oh là là.
- Inspired by last night's episode? Perfect your rough puff pastry with our ultimate recipes from former GBBO winner Jo Wheatley, plus the perfect custard tart.