Great British Bake Off – Episode 4 – Pies and Tarts

David Blackett
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Previous episode recap 

Mary Berry and her pet hound Paul Hollywood vanished into the woods leaving nothing but whispers of ‘the child must suffer.’ Filming was set back by over four months. The 11 remaining bakers were finally called together to form the circle that would bring Mary and Paul from the darkness. The spell was a success, but with all magic comes a price, the price was to suffer making trifle and the sacrifice of  Mark and Deborah. Their blood was used, as is tradition, to anoint the Master Baker, this week Christine was the blessed one.   

(Full episode 1episode 2, episode 3 recaps)

Episode 4 – Pies and tarts

Bakes this week – Double crusted fruit pie, custard tart and filo pastry monstrosity

Experience we have baking these – Some of the Vada team have more experience than others, if ya know what we’re sayin’.

Moist count – NONE! But acceptable this week, pie must be dryer than eczema, really flakey eczema, the kind where you can scratch to the point that it looks like you’ve made a pile of parmesan gratings, that’s how dry we’re talking.

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Pie bought for watching – Charlie Bingham’s steak and ale pie (bloody amazing, expensive but amazing) and traditional apple pie.

On your marks, get set, BAKE

MelSue? MelSue? What’s happened to you?We are off to a bang this week and the bang is Mel’s blazer. A neon blue beauty over a neon green baggy t-shirt thing, poor ol’ Sue stood beside her in grey staring into camera mouthing ‘help me.’ We smell a play for power. Each word coming from Sue’s mouth is one of warning, she speaks of death and bakers being gunned down. Oh how she  jokes, we know Mary prefers to use her bare hands, thrusting the body of her victim high into the air as her blood cry fills the ears of all within in reach.

Double crusted fruit pie

Task one, make pie. The pie must have pastry on top, pastry on the bottom, fruit in the middle. Top and bottom must be dry, dry, dry, dry. They have two hours to do it.

Kimberley is making a pecan and rosemary concoction. To prove she’s human and not at all a cyborg with genetically modified made for TV perfect smile we get a blink and you’ll miss it VT of her and boyfriend walking beside the Thames. Poor Giuseppe, how exceedingly dull must he be if that’s all the screen time he gets?

Howard, HOWARD and his dullards at work got more screen time. They must have spent a good couple of hours filming Kimseppe dandering about Southbank and that’s all they use! Rumour has it the man’s feral and they just couldn’t stop him picking up dog shit from the pavement and smearing it all over his winky before eating whatever’s left. But no matter her hardship, Kimberley is fast becoming one of our favourite bakers and creates marvellous things that we just want to shove in our faces to poo out our asses.

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Prince Ali! Fabulous he!
Ali the baker
What’s a flan? Is that a pan?
Please don’t ask me!
Put on your beanie hat and look fly
Let’s make a double crust pie
It’ll pass the test but only barely

Frances decides to make a beautiful hot air balloon peach thing. Mary is so disappointed by the flavour that in one swift movement she has Frances’ face deep in the bland filling ‘look what you made me do! Don’t you know there is nothing worse in this world than something that looks good but tastes like the shit you have presented me with?’ The MelSue guide Frances back to her station wiping the snot from her face and the peach from her hair. ‘You shouldn’t have mentioned James and the Giant Peach’ one head said ‘without giving her a pie filled with spiders’ the other head finished.

The others also made pie but you can pretty much guess how it went, Howard made something dull but tried to spice it up with something ‘exotic.’ Glen made something big, because he’s big, ‘I LIKE THINGS BIG’ he says with a wink at any given opportunity. Ruby creates something you know is just filled with hair and hash and that’s why Mary and Paul love it. Beca just demands more chips. Rob does science, but not a fun science that causes smoke and explosions, just a science that involves a lot of rulers.The only surprise is Christine who is slowly breaking down, only speaking in rhyme and occasionally the voice of James Earl Jones.

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Mary is eating some pie
Mary eats some pie


Universally agreed to be the greatest of all baked goods. A recent survey from the DAB Institute says that the Sainsbury’s custard tart is the current world favourite. The DAB Institute also found that it is perfectly acceptable to buy four more custard tarts when you accidentally drop one from your pack of two on the floor.

Ahhhh the technical bake where we get a brief glimpse into the green room without walls or wind.

Mary – ‘Can I ask you something Paul?’

Paul – ‘Yes master’

Mary – ‘How did your c**k taste after I cut it off for shoving it into that horrid Valladolid woman?’

Paul – ‘Devine.’ He licks his lips.

SMASH CUT TO – the tent and everyone is struggling because they have the ingredients but they have no idea what goes in where and when, much like most of the Vada team with someone of the opposite sex, BOOM.

It’s genuinely upsetting how many of them manage to fuck this up. Ali declares his love for the custard tart, but of course he’s never made one before. He goes hand in failure hand with Glen, they just finds it far too difficult to make twelve tarts. Ruby looks incredibly smug with her pre-inserted paper-round-the-pastry plan which makes it incredibly easy to lift the tarts out of the tray post bake, but, sadly, doesn’t stop them tasting awful.

Rob uses the power of science to create something passable but unremarkable after not realising that the pastry should maybe possibly perhaps go to the top of the baking tray.

Frances, beautiful …


Turns out custard tarts are like well old. More shocking than that is the way that John Hodgson, archivist at Manchester University, man handles the worlds oldest cook book. He’s just flinging it about with his greasy human oil covered hands. Slamming it against the desk, touching all the pages, not a glove in sight. We have copies of Harry Potter we treat with more respect.

… Frances wins the task as she added the secret ingredient, despair, into her tart and Mary couldn’t get enough.

Mary is eating a custard tart
Mary eats a custard tart


The filo pastry challenge caused an element of madness in the tent as bakers scurried about trying to find surfaces large enough to cover in a skin thick layer of filo.

Paul and Mary come to visit Rob at his bench. ‘What are you making Rob?’ They say in unison. ‘A pythagoras pie’ he stutters. ‘Science! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..’ they laugh and laugh until the walls shake and worms crawl from the soil until Mary hears:

‘Please crispy gods, please.’ Mary strides across to Christine and looks at her with disgust ‘You stupid bitch’ she sneers, turns, and walks away.

Things we learned during this round:

– Ali has never heard of the letter F

– When you play Sue’s ‘BAKE!’ yell backwards you actually hear a child from the 1940’s asking for their mother

– Glen has a beautiful ring

Mary is eating filo
Mary eats some Filo

Which leads us to our in depth analysis of the showstopper challenge:

Ali – our notes just say ‘car demon’ so your guess is as good as ours
Howard – good flavour amazing
Christine – Flaky amazing
Ruby – Tasty amazing
Rob – Soggy, not amazing
Glen – big, crunchy, amazing
Frances – too much filling not amazing
Kimberley – AMAZING
Beca- mushy amazing

The winner is:


The Loser is:


The episode fades out to a shot of Mary stroking Ali’s face with the back of her hand ‘Don’t worry’ she coos ‘I’ll look after you.’


Tray bakes, shortbread and something else we didn’t catch the name of.

About David Blackett

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. David isn't her, but she shaped his life in ways she will never know. Likely to be found caring too much about street passes and the correct allocation of Pikmin. You can follow David on the twitter @boysies.