The Great British Bake Off 2021: Pinch of Nom Pastry Week Inspiration
Paul and Prue are judging pastry in this week’s Great British Bake Off 2021 and we can’t wait to see what doughy challenges the bakers will be facing! From thick pie crusts to light, crispy tarts, pastry comes in many delicious sweet and savoury forms.
Let’s hope the bakers can avoid pastry problems like crumbly finishes, sticky doughs and bread-like textures. And no doubt Paul and Prue will be checking for soggy bottoms in the tent! More an issue of texture than taste, if any bakers do undercook their base, they could still be onto a winner with exciting flavours.
We’ve put together a selection of pastry treats to get you in the mood for this week’s theme, including everything from delectable pies to puddings. We’ve even included how to prepare a pastry-based recipe without using pastry at all – you might be surprised!
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Pastry starters and sides
Samosas are unlikely to crop up as a task in the Great British Bake Off tent next week, but we love any excuse to whip these up! Flavoursome Samosas are a spicy pastry parcel that transform an Indian-inspired spread into a full on Fakeaway feast. We’ve used filo pastry in our non-traditional recipe to lower the calories. The key with filo is to work quickly – if you’re too slow, it can dry out and become unworkable.
Normally deep-fried until they’re crisp, ours are prepared in the oven and come out at only 147 calories. They’ll taste great alongside your favourite creamy curry dish.
The fun thing about samosas (and pastries in general) is you can experiment with fillings. Our Spinach and Ricotta Samosas are filled with a cheeky kick of spice. Make sure you coat the pastry with plenty of low calorie cooking spray so that it’s firmly sealed. No-one wants a leaky pastry parcel!
Is it a little too early to get festive? Never! We LOVE using readymade light puff pastry as it saves on both time AND calories. Winner!
We’ve put a slimming friendly twist on a classic with our Pigs in Blankets in Puff Pastry recipe. These party table pastries are so quick and easy to make, and only use FOUR ingredients (yes, really)! Shop bought versions might use full fat pork, while we’ve swapped it out for low fat chipolatas. They work SO well!
Keep an eye on these ones in the oven. The thin strips of pastry should be fluffed up and golden after around 18 minutes – they’re soo much tastier when they’re fresh and homemade. Trust us!
For just 41 calories per twist, our Cheese and Pickle Twists are another puff pastry treat that’s super easy to prepare. We’ve avoided the washing up that follows homemade dough by using ready rolled light puff pastry.
The sharp cheese flavour in these twists is even more achievable when you use a fine grater. It makes a little bit of cheese go so much further.
The reduced fat cheddar cheese and sweet pickle chutney is a dream combination! Roll out the dough, spread the filling, slice, and twist. They’re SO easy! Bake until they’re golden, crisp and delicious.
We’d love to see the bakers fire up the ovens for a pie-based challenge on next week’s Bake Off. How about two pastry-based classics in one? Our Cornish Pasty Pie uses our non-traditional take on the signature filling of a hearty Cornish pasty and turns it into a tasty baked dish!
We’ve used lean beef mince and filled this recipe with lots of tasty veggies to bring the calories down. This recipe isn’t fully covered with pastry – instead, we’ve topped it with puff pastry strips in a grid pattern.
The pastry strip topping needs to be sprayed with a generous amount of low calorie cooking spray, so that it fluffs up nicely in the oven.
Pies would normally be made with high calorie shortcrust pastry, but filo can work just as well. Our Cheese and Onion Potato Pie recipe is another tasty winter warmer with a classic filling.
You’ll want to use a deep pie dish for this one – we’d recommend a metal one as your pastry base will get even crispier.
This recipe is full of flavour and so comforting, and it’s only 286 calories per slice! The filo pastry sheets need to be sprayed with a good coating of low calorie cooking spray before the filling is spread evenly into the pie dish.
Be careful of adding too much filling – you don’t want to end up with a soggy bottom!
Pastry puddings and sweet treats
The chillier season puts us right in the mood for sweet, fruity flavours and that’s what makes plums ideal for autumnal recipes. Having low calorie sweet snacks on hand like our Spiced Plum Puffs will help you stay on track through the winter months.
Star Bakers might tackle pastry cutting freehand, but we’re all for making life easier with a pastry cutter! We’ve used star-shaped cutters, but any shape will work. Just be sure that the pastry is rolled out evenly to the thickness of a £1 coin, so that it doesn’t burn up in the oven.
If you’re not a fan of plums, you can swap them out for a different sweet fruit. Apples and nectarines work well too!
Who doesn’t love a bit of custard? These Portuguese Custard Tarts are slimming friendly and so simple to make. Our recipe uses pastry circles cut from a standard sheet of light puff pastry to lower the calories.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the pastry in the oven until it’s golden and the egg is set – this should take around 20 minutes. Sprinkled with warming ground nutmeg, these tarts are a sweet treat you’ll enjoy with a cuppa.
While you can take your time preparing puff pastry, filled filo pastry can’t be left for too long without going soggy. Our Lemon and Blueberry Tarts can be prepared ahead of time, so long as the filo pastry and the curd is stored separately until you’re ready to serve.
If Paul and Prue were judging these, they’d be checking that your tarts are crisp and crunchy with a zesty lemon and blueberry filling that’s thick and smooth. They’re a perfect light pastry pudding option for your next dinner party or festive gathering!
It’s not even pastry (but you’d never know)
Swapping out pastry won’t help you in the Bake Off tent, but you’ll definitely win at dropping calories! Sometimes the easiest way to make pastry-based recipes slimming friendly is to not use pastry at all. We’ve found an effective substitute that’ll go just as crispy and golden brown in the oven – low calorie tortilla wraps!
Why not cosy up and settle down this weekend with our Roast Dinner Pasties recipe? We like to fill ours with our roast dinner leftovers, which means they’re usually stuffed with chicken, potatoes, and lots of tasty veggies.
Tortilla wraps are great for the job because they can hold so much filling and stay sealed. Ideal for recipes like this, where you want the filling to be bursting!
Make sure the pasties have a crisp, golden-brown finish on both sides before you plate them up as an indulgent lunch or dinner.
The humble Sausage Roll is a classic snack you might not be able to imagine without pastry but trust us – the texture of our tortilla wrap ‘pastry’ is just as good. There are no nasties in our recipe, just a low fat mince filling flavoured with tasty herbs and spices!
A high-quality baking tray, like this one, is a pastry-making essential for a crispy finish on any bake. You’ll know your sausage rolls are ready to serve once they’re golden on the outside and piping hot inside.
Bring on the dip! Make sure you enjoy these with a helping of ketchup or brown sauce. So good, right? And not a sheet of pastry in sight.
Feeling inspired and ready for GBBO?
Will you be making a pastry treat while you watch this week’s The Great British Bake Off? Tell us over on our Facebook Group. There are almost 1 million members in the group already, waiting to share inspiration, motivation and support for your slimming journey.