Pies Glorious Pies on Great Australian Bake Off Episode 2

Maria's Beef Pie (photo courtesy of GABO website)

Maria’s Beef Pie (photo courtesy of GABO website)

There were tears and tantrums in the Bake Off tent this week as Pie Week started to heat things up.  Pastry was thrown on the floor, and piping bags were flung across the kitchen.  Who knew that making a Pie was so stressful?!

The challenge for the Signature Bake was to produce a hearty family pie, a good all rounder that the family love.   The pie could be sweet or savoury, and must have a lid.   As most of us just buy ours from the supermarket it was great to see the variations that were dished up, although surprisingly nobody made a sweet pie in this round.  Don’t families like Apple Pie anymore?  

The pies were meant to be tried and true home recipes, and Bliss stuck to that with her mum’s recipe for Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie.  It was a pity that she forgot to wash the leeks before cooking them, but the judges were still impressed with the flavour.  Nancy made the most bizarre looking pie with a lamb bone sticking out the middle, which didn’t impress the judges, but you can’t deny that it stood out! 

There was of course the usual jokes about ‘soggy bottoms’, but anyone who has seen the British version of this show will know that it’s a bit clichéd now and perhaps time to move on.

The Technical Challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie.  According to Kerry there are three places that can go badly wrong; weepy meringue, pastry that is not crisp, and filling that is not set.  And of course that is what happened.  You know it’s going to go wrong for a contestant when they claim to make them all the time, and Bliss was very confident going into this round.  Unfortunately after her first attempt saw burnt pastry, over whipped meringue, and unset curd, poor Bliss had to start again.  Cue lots of tears, but I did feel sorry for her.

Mark who had the disaster with a collapsing checkerboard cake last week, this week had a ruptured pie when he tried to transfer it to the plate.  There were also shots of his piecrust with tin foil around it, but there was no explanation as to why he did it this way.  However, the judges did comment that his pie had a metallic taste, so obviously it’s the wrong thing to do. 

The judges announced that Jonathan was the winner of this round with a pie that had a great flavour, and a crispy piecrust.  It certainly looked the best by far.

In the Showstopper round the focus was on the great Aussie favourite of Party Pies, Sausage Rolls and Pasties.  The contestants had to make 12 of each with a different flavour for each variety.  This is the round that produced the tantrums as pastry and toppings failed to behave.  But despite all this there were some fantastic looking pies and it was good to some vegetarian options as well.  I particularly liked the look of Nancy’s Smoky Chorizo Sausage Rolls, and her presentation was the best of them all.

After presenter Shane had drooled over all the pies, the judges named Jonathan as this weeks Star Baker, and eliminated Bliss.  Obviously serving up unwashed leeks just isn’t the done thing.

This week the episode was only an hour long, so with the advert breaks the show was even shorter, and I would have liked to see more cooking content and explanations, such as blind baking, and perhaps how to transfer pie to plate without rupturing it.  This show is designed to encourage home baking, so a few more useful tips would certainly help.

Otherwise another great show, and next week is Biscuit Week.  Can’t wait.

 P.S. Love the opening credits 🙂

Pie GABO 

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