I’ve been catching re-runs of the Great British Baking Show on PBS. I don’t know what season. On the episode tonight, they started off by making Wellintons, then raised pastries in the technical challenge, a very difficult one. Both of those were savory. For the showstopper, the contestants were asked to bake an American pie, with just a bottom crust; they mostly used tart pans. Paul Hollywood went on and on about how horrid most American pies are, and how they are just too sweet. One of the contestants, who said half her family is American, made the same comment about the horrible pies she had had to eat as a child.
I was startled by this view of American pies. What exactly had they been eating? Then again, I’ve not had that many pies baked by other people because most people I know do not bake pies.
I understand where Paul is coming from, I’ve seen a number of dough recipes that are sweeter than they need to be. My wife prefers a dough with some sugar rolled in for cherry pie, and she likes the filling to be sweeter than I would normally use, too.
Things like pecan pie, shoo-fly pie and many cream pies are very sweet, too. And that’s before smothering them with an inch or more of whipped cream.
I have learned that what I am watching is Season 5 of The Great British Baking Show. It was featured in a Sunday insert magazine note about the finale this Friday. It mentions also that Mary Berry is 82, so perhaps that is why she has decided to leave the show after this season.
In the last episode, they were doing French pastry. I’ve not tried baking any of that, and I do not know if I ever will. I’m looking forward to seeing which of the three finalists (nice to have a final with three finalists).