What Ruby baked: Pie Week

We be bakin’: Everyone’s favourite student baker tackles Pie Week in the Great British Bake Off


Welcome to the third instalment of ‘What Ruby Baked’, in which we follow UCL’s very own Nigella in her pursuit to be crowned ‘Amateur Baker of the Year’.

This week opened with a dose of family-friendly sass in the form of Mel and Sue singing ‘Who Ate All the Pies’. They stopped before the ‘you fat bastard’ bit, although I imagine BBC2 viewers would have approved of an altered addition such as ‘you curvy, out-of-wedlock person’.

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Yes everyone, it’s ‘Pie Week’, where references to the godforsaken ‘soggy bottom’ reach an unbearable peak. It is frequently more painful than watching Michael MacIntyre auditioning for Kidulthood. According to the Daily Fail, there is now even a drinking game that involves taking a shot of an alcoholic libation (probably sherry) every time something titillating is said. In my day, drinking games involved drinking fuel and setting yourself on fire. This generation don’t even know they’re born.

If that wasn’t bad enough, our girl Ruby doesn’t seem to be getting nearly as much screen time as she ought to. She is being far too laissez-faire about the whole thing really, casually conjuring pies and tarts that cause Mary’s blue peepers to twinkle and Paul’s mouth to twitch seductively without even a smattering of brow sweat. Meanwhile, her fellow bakers are staking out their television slots with melodrama and hats and fringes and poor facial hair.

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Anyway, this week was all about the pies and tarts (lacking in vicars though). Task numero uno was to create a Fruit Pie. The majority of bakers saw this as an opportunity to play the pity party card by using beloved old grandmother Betsy’s recipe (may she rest in peace), but replacing the bomb shrapnel and thalidomide with candied rhubarb for a sweeter taste.

Ruby, being the straightforward gal she is, made one with apple and marzipan in it, a combination appreciated by PeeWee and Martin but not quite enough to secure the top spot.

The technical challenge was to make an English Custard Tart. It really doesn’t look very hard but almost everyone fucked it up, although Ruby (being a Clever Student, as they mention once a week), put little paper tabs under hers so she could get them out of their cases without mutilating them. Despite this technical wizardry, she got 6th place, which seems a little harsh.

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The final feat was to bake a show-stopping Filo Pastry Pie. Paul went on and on about how difficult filo pastry is, and everyone dutifully struggled away, dragging it over their benches until it looked like a giant floury condom. Ruby, cool as a cucumber, assaulted the pastry then made a cracking rose, almond and raspberry pie in the shape of said flower.

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However, in a cruel twist they debated making her star baker, but at the last minute decided that the top spot would go to Kimberly for her savoury dead bird pie. Ali and his hat got sent home and everyone cried (crocodile tears).

Join us again next week as we follow the trials and tribulations of our student heroine during the nail-biting ‘Biscuit Week’.