Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 3: Mile High Pie stumble

Summer Baking Championship Host Jesse Palmer portrait for Mile High Berry Pie Challenge
Summer Baking Championship Host Jesse Palmer portrait for Mile High Berry Pie Challenge / Food Network

After sailing away on a cruise themed episode, Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 3 is ready to climb some high peaks. With a hearty breakfast to start the day, the bakers tackled mile high berry pies.

This season of Summer Baking Championship has been different than other Baking Championship series. From the First Class Station perk to the feedback that they receive, the bakers seem to be on riding a roller coaster of highs and lows from challenge to challenge.

In the Pre-Heat, the bakers were randomly put into pairs. While team challenges are often sticky, this one did not have the power struggle that can accompany a Food Network challenge. Overall, everyone seemed to get along and it showed in their sweet and savory food.

The basis of the challenge was to transform classic breakfast items into one sweet and one savory treat. For example, the pancakes needed to be more than just another stack on the plate.

Overall, the offerings were good, but one stood out above all the others. Dominick and German, aka Team Germanick, impressed with their crepe offerings. The sweet crepe was a Gianduja Passionfruit crepe truffle. The judges appreciated the nuanced flavor.

It was the savory crepe that had Duff Goldman leaving the table and hugging the team. The Fried Crepe lasagna is a food mashup concept that should not necessarily work, but it was definitely the hit of the competition. It might even be the best bite of the whole Summer Baking Championship season.

The perfectly thin crepes contrasted with the slightly crisp outside offered a lovely textural contrast. All the traditional lasagna flavors of basil, tomato, and cheese were present but it never swayed too far into the sweet side. Maybe some chef will put this concept on a brunch menu. It would be quite well received.

For winning the Pre-Heat, Team Germanick received free advice from Duff Goldman. This advantage is both good and bad. It took time away from their challenge, but it is vital to understand how the judges’ think. But, this advantage might have been better served in a cake challenge or decorating challenge. That arena is Duff’s calling.

In the Main Heat, the bakers had to create mile high pies. Basically, the concept was to use meringue to build a towering top on the pie.

Overall, this challenge was a technical one. From a well-baked crust to balanced flavors to the proper texture of a meringue, it all mattered. Even though there are moments where the judges’ happily eat with their eyes closed, too many mistakes will cause a baker to go home.

It was curious that the majority of pies lacked big, tall meringue height. It would have seemed more likely that the tall, stiff peaks would have been easy for these bakers to master. Maybe, it was too tall of a task to accomplish.

The winning baker was quite clear. Chris’ blackberry bourbon meringue pie with grapefruit curd excelled with all the characteristics. From the height to the balance of flavor to the lovely crust, it clearly soared about the rest. For a baker to present grapefruit in a pie and nail the flavor shows skill. Grapefruit is always a divisive dessert flavor.

Unfortunately, the bottom bakers were clear. Although Dominick did well in the Pre-Heat, his pie was a disaster. The filling was too soupy and required a spoon to serve it. Additionally, there was no height to his meringue.

Nayibe served the judges an underbaked crust. It was raw in parts. That mistake cannot be overlooked in a Food Network Baking Championship.

The baker sent home on Summer Baking Championship Season 2 episode 3 was Nayibe. The technical error was too much to overlook.

Ready for more sweet summer treats? Be sure to watch new episodes of Summer Baking Championship each Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on Food Network. Episodes can be streamed the next day on MAX.