How on earth can Aberdeen's Pinnies & Petticoats baking club have reached the grand old age of two yet we've never have a #GBBO themed event? This was to be rectified following the end of Great British Bake Off Series 5. The instructions were to link our bakes to this season of GBBO. That could be using one of the contestant's recipes, one of the Technical Challenge recipes, or coming up with our own bake on one of the themes. I knew instantly that I wanted to pay homage the local loon Norman Calder who baked a Piefull Tower for the showstopper in Pies & Tarts week.
Having never made hot water crust pastry in my life before, I reckoned that the full blown three tiered pie would have been setting myself too much of a challenge so I opted to bake smaller pies and pile them up in a tower. I'm quite sure that Mr Hollywood would class that as cheating. I based my bake on the Chorizo Pork Pies Recipe on Jules fantastic Butcher Baker Baby Blog.
The pie making process was a steep learning curve. First up melting the lard and boiling it along with water. Boy does it stink! With windows and doors open and the dough made it was time to hand raise the pies. I had Boy as my trusty helper and we set to with our attempts to mold around pint glasses greased with oil. It went so horribly wrong at this point that I was all set to abandon ship. However Boy had a suggestion, why not wrap the pint glass in cling film? Genius! It was plain sailing from there on in and we managed to form half a dozen reasonably pie shaped cases.
Next step was to fill them. The instructions were "Firmly throw it in to the centre of the dough cup you’ve made (without destroying the shape!) This bit sounds mad, but it’s essential to do this to get all the filling in to the spaces and help knock out any air spaces." With great hilarity we managed successfully and moved on to lids.
It took us a couple of attempts to get the lids the right size and work out exactly where to stick them with egg wash and where to crimp. Some seemed to come together much easier than others. We certainly wouldn't win any competitions with them but they had a nice rustic individual look about them rather than all being identical.
Pies in the oven and it was time to make the jelly bit. We chickened out of the whole boiling of pigs trotters and went with a stock cube and gelatine. Timings were tight by this point and I was slightly concerned that the jelly may not set in time.
With pies in hand and strict instructions to bring one back home for Boy, Girl and Loon to taste I headed off to bake club which was being held this month in the lovely Rosie Thistles Tearoom. There couldn't be a more perfect venue to fit with the theme. A good turnout of bakers including a few newbies and a fantastic selection of cakes and bakes on offer.
Berry Chocolate Cupcakes
Lemon & Chocolate Eclairs
Chocolate & Orange Tart
Savoury Cheese & Ham Puffs
Salted Caramel Donuts
Chocolate and Orange Tart
Time to cut open the pies and see what was inside, thankfully the jelly had set but not all the cavities were full. The taste was however fantastic for both the pastry and the filling. Definitely something that I would make again but I think I'd give the individual hand raised pies a miss and go for a larger pie made in a tin. Perhaps I will manage a full blown three tiered pie at some point. Next cake club is Christmas themed which is always a good one. How can I beat my Santa Penguins and Grinches of years gone by?