Bake Off Bake Along 2016 – Botanicals Week

Ahh look at me posting my botanicals bake off late this week!

Truth is, I tend to write my posts in the evenings and bring them together during my lunch times at work. The problem this week is that I haven’t had any spare evenings or lunch times, so I’m writing this hurriedly. A bit like I baked this week, last minute, and in a hurry.

I went for a meringue pie, especially as A) I’ve never made one, and B) I love it as a pud!



As a nod to my mum (just as they so often do on bake off) I decided that for this weeks signature, I’d make a St Clements Meringue Pie- oranges and lemons. I love the idea of botanicals week, though I was surprised there wasn’t more floral going on. Lavender, rose and violet didn’t feature much, but I’m not surprised as Paul is never a fan whenever they’ve been featured previously.

Im also glad that botanicals were featured more than just flowers, through citrus and herbs too.

I got back on Sunday with the ingredients already in my cupboard and fridge. The Bloggers Blog Awards was in Leeds which meant a very long trip up and back and I only had a few hours to spend in Plymouth on Sunday night. Luckily I guess, a meringue pie doesn’t take a long time to bake or cool. Blind baking the sweet shortcrust, possibly a little too much, but until it definitely didn’t have a soggy bottom!

I’d never actually made a curd before either, so I enjoyed the process, hoping to make it significantly lemon and orangey with lots of zest and sharp flavour. The only thing I find weird about curd is the addition of eggs, I’ve always been a bit funny about eggs though!


The meringue was silky and smooth with a good gloss and it passed the tip over the head approach so there’s also that! Spreading it over the curd initially, I then piped it into a whole load of pretty peaks, as well as covering my fingers, hands and arms, as it splurged out the top.

In the oven it browned slightly more than I’d hoped, finished off with a quick whizz over by the blow torch and a steady hand from Adam. The finished effect only really could be seen when I took it to work the next day, sharing half with my colleagues and taking half home. In the beautiful Autumn sunshine it sliced through perfectly, thank god, and the curd had set, but not solid. The meringue was crisp on the outside, but soft and mallowy beneath.




For the first bake this year that I’ve shared at work, it went down a treat! What a bloomin’ relief!  It’s always tricky when people expect you to be this amazing baker that bakes along with the bake off, but what if they actually try your experiments and they turn out to be a bit rubbish? What if your family are just being nice to you when they say they like them?

Dont think it was the case for botanicals week, nor any of the others perhaps so far. Still, whilst the bake off has gone so well so far, dessert week last year went badly with my bru-lakes, so it could all very well fall apart at the seams again next week!

Probably jinxed it now…!!