This week on GBBO was pie week! The contestants first challenge was to make a wellington, these are typically made using beef. Sarah-Jane used a fantastic looking fillet of beef, although she didn't chill her meat after sealing it and her pastry collapsed when baking! (See picture below). It was such a struggle to watch this, I understood that she was thinking of quality and expense of the meat and wanted to keep it moist, so she had good intentions. But at the same time I was biting my nails with worry! I could see that Mary and Paul felt the same when she told them what she was doing, and I was shouting at my TV for them to tell her.
The other contestants used different meats including fish for their wellingtons. Danny chose to do a vegetarian wellington. The reason I have never made a beef wellington is because a nice beef fillet is going to set you back upwards of £50! Seeing the contestants using different meats definitely gave me inspiration to try out other meats. Cathryn's English breakfast wellington filled with sausage meat and eggs caught my eye, she described it as a giant sausage roll, sounds delicious to me!
The second challenge is what I would describe as the meanest challenge on GBBO so far - hand raised pies (see picture above). The contestants had to shape pastry around a dolly, which was a disaster for the majority of contestants as once shaped and chilled, the pastry wouldn't come off the dolly! No one did very well on this one.
The final challenge was American Pies. This challenge produced what has been called 'the best bake of the series'. Ryan Chong's Key Lime Pie (pictured above). He struggled during baking, but managed to turn out the beautiful pie you can see above. He was awarded star baker and praised highly by Mary and Paul. It was a very emotional moment and I was so pleased for him! This had to be the bake I tried out this week!
The recipe I used said your lose bottomed tart tin should be 24cm wide. However, mine was a lot bigger, about 29cm (11-ish inches) wide. So I decided to double the recipe! One of my philosophies in life is "better to have too much than too little". And I definitely stick to this when baking. I put 350g of plain flour and 170g of butter into a large bowl.
Using my hands I rubbed the butter into the flour until fine crumbs formed. I then added 90g of caster sugar and mixed together.
In went 2 eggs and again use your hands to bind the mixture together into a dough. Knead it briefly into a soft ball of dough, wrap in cling and chill for 1 hour.
Meanwhile I made the filling. I whisked together 3 egg yolks and the zest of 3 limes until the mixture thickened. I then added a can (usually 397g) of condensed milk, and whisked again for 5 minutes. Finally in went the juice of 5 limes, whisk some more until thoroughly combined and nice and frothy.
Once the pastry was fully chilled I took it out of the fridge and used about two thirds of it to roll out on a floured surface. Make sure to flour the rolling pin too as the pastry sticks otherwise. I lined my tart tin with the rolled out pastry. Make sure you keep the edges hanging over as pastry shrinks when baking, you can trim them off later.
I lined the pastry with baking paper and poured in ceramic baking beans. You can use dry rice if you don't have beans, but I recommend using them as the ceramic distributes the heat evenly. I baked the pastry on 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 20 minutes. Then removed the baking beans and baking paper and baked the pastry alone for another 5 minutes.
Let the pastry cool completely. You can neaten up the edges now and trim any bits off that are hanging over the side of the tin. Then add the lime filling and bake for 15-20 minutes until it's set, but still wobbles in the centre.
It's your choice how to decorate! You could use meringue like Ryan did. I chose to whip up some cream and covered the pie in it, then garnished with lime slices and a sprinkle of lime zest. The cream balanced out the zingyness of the lime filling really well. My pastry was lovely and baked throughout, and my filling set perfectly. The edges of my pastry did go quite dark, I found it difficult to trim off but did the best I could.
This was a bi hit with my housemates, and I ate two slices so it must've been pretty tasty!