EPISODE THREE: PASTRY WEEK
SIGNATURE CHALLENGE: Tarte Tatin
- Sweet or savory, they have 2 hours.
- Traditionally made with caramelized apples baked under a lid of pastry and inverted after baking, so the pastry is on the bottom and the apples on top.
- If it’s underbaked, the pastry will not get crisp and the apple juices will make it soggy.
- Most bakers using a rough puff
- Proper puff involves taking a flat slab of butter and placing it on your pastry dough. Rough puff pastry is the cheats version. It’s designed to produce a similar effect to puff pastry, for a lot less effort. The butter is cut into chunks and mixed into the dough, still in chunks
- Adding lemon juice to the dough helps break down the gluten so it can puff better in the oven
- Requires rolling and folding
- Manisha screwed up her caramel, Mary told her to stop using a non-stick pan, and to only stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Liquid from the fruit can create steam and make the pastry soggy, but poking holes in the pastry allows the steam to escape.
Danny: Savoury pear and roquefort
James: Apple and Lavender (did a FULL puff pastry. Used the whole lavender flower in the caramel.)
Victoria: Fig, Walnut and Pink Peppercorns (not using ground peppercorns, just whole. Last to bring hers out)
Ryan: Spiced Pear (scraped the inside of the vanilla bean into the caramel, and then put the pod inside the pear like a stem)
Sarah Jane: Caramelized Banana (fresh sliced bananas)
Cathryn: Plum, Cherry & Five Spice (making own spice mix, destoning almost a pound of fruit. Put a little foil “hat” on her tarte while baking to keep the pastry from burning)
John: Apple & Vanilla, with a Walnut Praline
Manisha: Cinnamon, Apple & Pear (had a lot of trouble with caramel)
Brendan: Apple & Ginger (using 12 apples, putting them upright into the pan. Bakes them without the pastry first, then adds pastry.)
Stuart: Pear & Almond (using marzipan on top of fruit, then pastry. Super goopy, collapsed on one side.)
Manisha: had to make 8 caramels to get it right, Paul still whinged about the color of the caramel and said he likes to SEE the caramel. Mary pointed out the pastry was a bit underdone, Paul agreed and said the flavors were good.
Sarah Jane: Paul loved the color, and how the banana turned out (they were a little red). Pastry was flaky, Mary pointed out “no soggy bottom” and it was delicious. Said she carried it out perfectly, and Paul said “well done”
Brendan: There was 12 apples in his tarte, and Paul said it was a nightmare to cut into. Brendan pointed out that “normally” the tarte sort of fuses together, but there’s huge gaps between the apples. Paul said there were structural issues, and it needed more time in the oven. Apples looked a bit underdone.
Victoria: Paul points out there’s lots of color, Mary pointed out that the pastry was underdone and said she was not fond of the flavors. Paul said her tarte had an identity crisis, it ‘didn’t know what it is.”
Stuart: Paul said the bake was alright, the marzipan was spectacular.
Cathryn: Paul said the moisture from the fruits created a super soggy bottom, Mary said it looks lovely and colorful, but she was leery of the 5-spice with something sweet. She follows that up with “it’s scrummy”.
Ryan: Paul asks if he’s happy, and Ryan answers “can’t complain”. Paul says the caramel should be thicker, Mary says his pastry is slightly underdone in spots. Mary states the vanilla really comes through.
Danny: Paul says it’s dark and looks inviting, that it’s toffee like. Mary says she can clearly see the pastry layers and it’s beautifully baked. This was a savory tarte, and Paul says he wanted more Roquefort.
John: Mary says she can see the fruit is nice and soft, and the underneath is crisp. Paul says the bake is good, flavors fantastic.
James: Mary likes the color on the bottom, says the fruit is cooked and she enjoys the lavender. Paul likes the flavors. Sue says he could have gone “knicker drawer” with the lavender, but it’s delightful
TECHNICAL CHALLENGE: Treacle Tart with woven lattice top
(Mary Berry’s recipe, 2 hours)
- Classic English recipe, crumbly crust (no soggy bottoms!)
- Shortcrust pastry, needs to be thin, has to weave the top lattice together
- 2 parts flour, 1 part fat for crust, adding cold water to bind it together into a dough, work it as little as possible because over-worked pastry gets tough
- Chilling the dough relaxes the glutens in the flour and allows the fats to remain solid and create layers instead of melting, allowing a roll out
- Use bread that’s a few days old, cut the crusts off. The bigger the breadcrumbs, the more gloopy and lumpy the tart will be and the more likely it is to burn in the oven.
- Taste is VERY lemony, uses golden syrup
- Have to work fast to get the gloop into the crust or it will solidify and not look even
- Lattice is tricky, since the filling goes in warm. If the strips are too little, the fat will melt and make a mess
- Stuart (no surprise to anyone) is a hot mess and didn’t add all the golden syrup (not unlike the tomato jam debacle) and then just poured the rest over the middle while it was baking.
- Some people did the lattice on a piece of parchment first and then slid it onto the tart
- Ryan didn’t even get the tart out of the tin, and said it was underbaked
- James up first – both admire the bake, Paul says it’s a “strong bake”. Mary likes the lemon flavor, and the glaze on top
- Victoria – Paul says the top looks a bit bland. Bottom has a nice bake, crust is thin. Paul says the crust is a little overworked.
- Catherine – Paul likes the lattice and the color, Mary agrees on the color and likes the glaze as well. Paul says the crust is thin but a little soggy in the middle. Mary likes the crust.
- Stuart – oh, Stuart. Paul says the lattice is nice, but the middle looks like it’s been boiled, and is very dry on the top. He likes the crust on the bottom.
- Danny – Mary calls the top “higgledy-piggeldy” and says the lattice is uneven. Paul says the bottom is almost done, Mary likes the pastry.
- John – Paul says it’s one of the better lattices, Mary says the syrup is quite pale. Paul says the crust is thin .
- Sarah Jane – they don’t like the lattice. The strips are tiny and twisted and not latticed. Mary says the pastry and flavor are nice.
- Ryan – they immediately point out his diagonal lattice, and that it isn’t latticed. Bottom crust is thin, but the side walls are thick, which seems to be pretty standard with most of these bakes
- Manisha – Paul says the lattice is nice, but it looks messy. Mary says it’s heavy, Paul says it’s rubbery (maybe too much bread?)
- Brendan – Paul says the bake is even, both say the lattice is nice. They both agree the center is cloying, too much bread.
8. Sarah Jane
Going into the showstopper, they have nice things to say about Sarah Jane’s bananas and James’ lavender, but say everything hinges on the showstopper.
SHOWSTOPPER ROUND: “Designer” Fruit Tart
- Looking for a tart fit for a window display in a patisserie, bakers’ choice on crust and fruits.
- Adding sugar to dough makes it less elastic, CANNOT RE-ROLL
Stuart: Triple Chocolate with fresh raspberry jelly and some macadamia nuts. He’s mixing the nuts with fortune cookies and making a brittle of sorts
Cathryn: Raspberry and lemon tart with pistachio. Only one not making a round tart, thinks it’s too simple. Has lots of sugar in her pastry, making it soft and hard to work with. Mel suggests she imagine everyone naked because she’s so nervous
Brendan: Blackberry, Nectarine and Dragon Fruit (with an elderflower glaze). Using a piece of pastry to push his crust into the tin
Victoria: Tropical fruit with a macadamia praline, lime glaze and black pepper pastry.
James: Rose, Lychee and Raspberry Creme Mascarpone. Putting macarons on the top
Sarah Jane: French Apple Tart with Blackberry and Cassis Jam
Manisha: Rum and Tropical Fruit with Blackberry and a coconut crust. Using apricot jam and rum to make a glaze.
Danny: Mary says it looks good, Paul wanted more color on the pineapple. Says it’s baked, but still wet. Mary says the frangipane feels like it curdled.
Victoria: Paul says it’s too wet and he’s not entirely sure on the color of the pastry. Slight soggy bottom. Mary says it is very limey, and Paul says the flavors aren’t enough to stand up to the lime, that everything is quite loose.
James: Paul likes the macarons, says the bake is strong. The creme pat holds really nicely, Paul says it tastes like turkish delight, Mary says it tastes like rose cream.
Ryan: they like the pastry, it’s thin and crispy but also rubbery. Paul says it’s been overworked.
John: They said the top looks like jewels, Mary likes it isn’t too sweet and the crust is awesome.
Cathryn: Paul says it’s very regimented and parisian. The base is buttery and a little greasy, but baked. Mary wants more flavor, less cream. Paul likes it.
Manisha: Mary likes the two-tone colors, the sponge layer. Paul says the bake is good and the pastry is great.
Brendan: Both like the look, with the Florentines around the outside. Bake on the bottom is good, Mary wanted a thicker creme pat.
Sarah Jane: Paul says the color is good, good underneath. The apple stayed crisp, according to Mary and she likes the almond.
Stuart: Paul gives him a look, but they both like the look of it. The layers are tasty, and so many textures with a sharp fruit.
Star Baker: James