This week, we’re rubbing in and rolling out as the seven remaining bakers get to tackle pastry.
First up it’s frangipane tarts – one of my favourites. Mary and Paul are looking for crisp pastry, well-cooked frangipane and good fruity flavours. There’s a good amount of poaching going on, a fair few pears, and quite a lot of alcohol. Tamal goes for mulled wine, Ian favours Calvados and Mat has rum for his pina colada tart – Mary and Mel appear to be locked in a custody battle for his jar. It’s Kilner versus Kilner.
Nadiya’s bake is intriguingly imaginative, with subtle flavours of bay leaf and rong tea. Her pears are beautifully arranged. Sadly her tart heralds the unwelcome return of the soggy bottom. She’s not alone. Paul’s Christmas tart looks meticulous but just needed longer in the oven. Proud Ian crows his self-sufficiency by using home-reared guinea fowl eggs. Mary tells him his tart lacks a glaze and Paul H says his base isn’t crispy. Ian nods dutifully, bites his tongue and suppresses the urge to chuck an egg at someone. His face literally carries the burden of six seasons of Bake Off disappointment.
Tamal assures Mr H that his blackberries won’t seep, but they do. However, his pastry is ‘solid’ with a perfect frangipane. Sue sums it up with what sounds like a profile on Grindr, ‘Messy top, tidy bottom’.
Alvin struggles with crumbly pastry that won’t even wrap convincingly in cling film, let alone roll without sticking. Flora has over baked her pastry and tries to conceal her crust with a biscuit guard of shame. Mary calls the amaretti ‘unnecessary’.