As your usual recapper Gina is off on holiday, I’m here to take you to the magical cooking tent where it’s always raining and guide you through this week’s Great British Bake off. And what it a week it is. Pie week! The week of the pies!
You’re in good hands because if there’s one thing I know it’s a good pie. I once bought six mini pork pies reduced from the co-op for a mere 44p and ate them in the lane next to the supermarket, so I was keen to see if the wannabe’s star bakers could meet my exacting standards.
I was also delighted that Mel Giedroyc had returned to the fray after last week’s mysterious absence. Though between ourselves I think it’s fairly safe to assume she had made herself sick after eating too many leftover cakes and Sue Perkins had locked her a cupboard as punishment for her greed.
Ms Perkins, by the way, sporting a very funky quiff this week. Like a home counties Elvis, she is.
Anyway on to the baking and first up it was the Wellington. Hardly a pie, if we’re honest, but does generally command decent efforts out of the contestants. The bakers found the technical bake much more challenging as they had to create a chicken, bacon and apricot pie.
Cooked, of course, in a very old fashioned way that did not involve tins and meant judge Paul Hollywood muttering ‘Oil your dollies, gotta oil your dollies’ repeatedly.
A dolly, it turns out, is a wooden thing that kept the shape of the pie while cooking in the pre tin era. And rather underlines my suspicion that the only way to make the show interesting is to force the contestants to use continually more and more obscure forms of bakery.
Anyway they all rather made a hash of it, with the exception of impossibly skinny Cathryn (never trust a thin cook) who had believably squawked that she had never even touched a pie in her life yet still managed to win.
Ryan was judged the worst as rather than a pie he conjured up a pastie, which to be fair still looked quite tasty.
Onto the showstopper round which this time was American Pies, which meant a collection of impossibly rich calorie bombs.
Even though none of the contestants saw fit to make a apple pie (and showing the dangers of filming segments in advance), we got a rather staid little clip about why Americans love them. Which was apparently because they’ve all secretly got Electra complexes, though I did nip out to get a cuppa at that point.
Back to the baking and it’s becoming pretty clear whose here for the long haul and who isn’t. Cheerily ditzy vicar’s wife Sarah Jane is not going to be around much longer, nor is frighteningly versatile Dr Danny if only because judges Mary and Paul don’t seem to care for either of their personalities.
On the other hand Scottish hipster James and Cathryn will be in the final as they could serve up pretty much anything and be rewarded with a ‘interesting’ even though it clearly tastes foul, as was the case with Cathryn’s showstopper this week.
Tiny bald oddity Brendan also seems to have a shot of winning as he served up another glorious looking effort that was apparently a ‘chiffon’ cake , which – much like him- was camp as can be.
The big surprise however was that Ryan, who generally flaps about like a headless chicken, managed to snatch star baker this week by dishing up a key lime pie that was apparently one of the finest ever made in three seasons of the show.
Personally, I thought it looked unpleasantly green, which just goes to show that even you make a horrible mess of everything you can still turn things around by shoving limes everywhere. A lesson for life!
Though sadly not one that was taken by poor old Manisha, who has been out of her depth for a while and served up a showstopper that was little more than a caramel and banana mess. It bore very little resemblance to a pie and got her sent home sharpish.
Next week: puddings.. and a horrible accident!