We are now in the third week of The Great British Baking Show Season 5, and now that we have bread and upside down cakes behind us, we are onto tart week, and already two contestants are gone.
As usual, the first challenge is the signature bake, a tarte Tatin, says Vulture. Tarte Tatin traditionally features caramelized apples and layers of crust, but in this competition, bakers can customize their offerings in any way they’d like, whether it be traditional with apples or another fruit, or even make a savory tart.
All of the contestants but one make what is called a “rough puff” pastry, which involves chunks of butter folded into flour. But James decides he is going to make a true puff pastry which involves flattening your butter into a rectangle and rolling and folding until it’s fully incorporated. James explains he isn’t being a stickler, he just isn’t familiar with the rough puff.
“To be quite honest, I have no idea what rough puff pastry is or how to make it.”
James is making a tart with dried lavender, apples, and caramel, which causes Paul and Mary to wish him luck with a doubtful look on their faces. Sue wonders if it will taste like a knicker drawer smells.
Danny is going savory with Roquefort, and Cathryn is going for plums, cherries, and a five spice blend. The judging starts and viewers watch to see who committed the ultimate sin, a “soggy bottom,” meaning that your crust either isn’t thick enough or it isn’t baked through. A soggy bottom is bad because nothing is supporting your tart.
Both Paul and Mary agree that James’ lavender tart does not taste like a lingerie drawer liner, and in fact, they both like it. The next winner is Sarah-Jane’s caramelized banana tarte Tatin, which is simple but “perfectly executed.” But Cathryn, with all of her plums and cherries, has the dreaded soggy bottom. Victoria took a risk with figs, walnuts, and peppercorns, but it didn’t pan out according to Mary.
“That doesn’t really work for me.”
Next is the technical bake, where contestants will try to recreate Mary Berry’s treacle tart with very scant instructions describing the lattice topping. For those of you new to The Great British Baking Show, this is the British equivalent to impressing Martha Stewart recreating her grandmother’s favorite pie. Good luck, folks.
Last up is the showstopper challenge, or impress us with your tart. Mary says it should look like something that could be in a patisserie window. Victoria is going with tropical fruit, seeming at risk of another soggy bottom. James is making a macaron with reduced cherries for decor, and Cathryn is the only contestant going rectangular instead of circular with her lemon, raspberry, and pistachio tart which looks “scrummy” and “Parisian” according to Paul.
Manisha is making a tart with rum, but to prevent soggy bottom, she adds a layer of coconut sponge to serve as, well, a sponge.
The judges work through the tarts, and James is king of the hill once again (he made macarons for his tart!) and awarded star baker. Victoria, as a result of her second soggy bottom which causes her tart to disintegrate when cut. Victoria bows out gracefully, and we are onto next week’s challenge.