Make your own Great Comic Relief Bake Off recipes: pavlova, shortbread and pork pies

Michael Sheen, David Mitchell, Sarah Brown and Jameela Jamil attempt pavolva, shortbread and pork pies on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off tonight. Make your own using our recipes!

Round 3 of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off hits screens at 8pm on BBC One tonight (Feb 25)… will David Mitchell or Michael Sheen fare better than Jonathan Ross (those profiteroles were never going to rise Jonathan) when facing the pavlova challenge? Can Sarah Brown turn out a decent pork pie? Does Jameela Jamil know anything about cooking?


The Radio Times leads us to believe otherwise (spoiler alert). Car crash cooks are as much fun to watch as perfectionists, more so when celebrities are involved, and as it’s all for a good cause everyone comes out well in the end. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood must be eating their way through plenty of duff baked goods for this series – watching their faces is a joy, and valid criticism combined with an encouraging smile is an art they have both perfected. This episode of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off will be repeated on BBC Two at 11.50 on Sunday morning (March 1)

Fancy your own chances? Try one of these three olive recipes for pavlova, shortbread and pork pies…

Rhubarb and custard pavlova

2 hours, serves 8-10, a little effort

caster sugar 150g

large egg whites 6

icing sugar 150g

cornflour 1 tsp

white wine vinegar 1 tsp

vanilla extract 1 1/2 tsp


golden caster sugar 75g

rhubarb 500g, trimmed and cut into 3-4cm lengths

vanilla pod 1, split

lemon juice a squeeze


egg yolks 4

golden caster sugar 2 tsp

cornflour 2 tbsp

single cream 300ml

vanilla pod 1, split or 1 tsp vanilla paste

double cream 300ml

Step 1

Start with the meringue. Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Using an electric whisk, whip the egg whites, with a pinch of salt and caster sugar together until holding stiff peaks. Sift the icing sugar and cornflour over and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is very stiff and shiny. Whisk in the vinegar and vanilla.

Step 2

Spoon the meringue mixture onto the lined baking tray in a deep, 25cm diameter disc. Make the sides higher than the centre to house the filling. Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until set and crisp on the outside, but hardly coloured. Switch the oven off, prop the door ajar and cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Step 3

To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a mixing bowl. Heat the single cream and vanilla pod in a small saucepan until almost boiling, then fish out the pod. Pour over the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return to the (clean) pan and cook over a low heat, whisking for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Cover the surface of the custard with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming and cool.

Step 4

To make the compote, put the sugar in a large saucepan with 150ml water and dissolve over a low heat. Add the rhubarb and the vanilla pod from the custard. Allow to poach gently for a few minutes until tender, but still holding its shape. Remove the rhubarb from the pan with a slotted spoon and increase the heat, allowing the syrup to boil down until thick and syrupy. Stir in the lemon juice and let cool. Pour the syrup over the rhubarb and chill.

Step 5

Whisk the double cream and cooled custard together, until the mixture holds its shape. Spoon onto the pavlova. Use a slotted spoon to top with the rhubarb, pouring the rhubarb syrup over to finish. Serve immediately.

PER SERVING 407 kcals, protein 4.8g, carbs 42.9g, fat 24.1g, sat fat 14.3g, fibre 0.9g, salt 0.2g

Ginger shortbreads

20 minutes, serves 8, easy

golden caster sugar 50g, plus a little extra

butter 100g, softened

ground ginger 1 tsp

root ginger freshly grated to make 1 tsp

plain flour 170g

crystalised stem ginger to decorate

step 1

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Mix the sugar, butter, and the ground and grated ginger into a smooth paste, then slowly add the plain flour to form a soft dough. Place on a lightly floured work surface and roll out until the dough is about 1cm thick.

step 2

Using a round pastry cutter, cut out the shortbread and put on a baking tray. Slice the stem ginger and put a small piece in the centre of each shortbread. Sprinkle some caster sugar on top.

step 3

Bake for 10 minutes until the shortbreads are just starting to colour round the edges. Cool before serving.

per serving 197 kcals, protein 2.1g, carbs 24.9g, fat 10.6g, sat fat 6.5g, fibre 0.8g, salt 0.20g

Pork pie

2 hours 35 minutes + overnight chilling, serves 10-12, a little effort

plain flour 550g, plus a little extra for rolling lard 100g, diced

unsalted butter 100g, diced

eggs 2, beaten


lean pork shoulder 900g, cut into 1cm dice

skinless boneless pork belly 250g, cut into 1cm dice

smoked streaky bacon 250g, no rind, cut into 1cm dice

sage chopped to make 1 tbsp

thyme chopped to make 1/2 tbsp

ground mace 1/2 tsp (optional)

cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp

jellied pork or veal stock 300-400ml (or use ordinary pork, veal or chicken stock and add gelatine – see method)

leaf gelatine 2 sheets, soaked in cold water (we used Supercook brand, available in larger supermarkets) 

step 1

To make the pastry, mix the flour and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Heat the lard,butter and 150ml water in a small pan. Let the lard and butter dissolve in the water then bring to the boil. Roughly mix 3/4 of the beaten egg into the flour, add the hot water mixture and, working quickly, mix the dough until smooth. Leave uncovered while you make the pie filling.

step 2

Mix the meat together. Put half into a food processor and pulse until minced. Mix the chopped and minced pork together with the herbs, spices and plenty of seasoning.

step 3

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4. Keep aside 1/3 of the pastry for the lid. Roll out the rest on a floured work surface into a rough 30cm circle about 1 cm thick. Line the base and sides of a non-stick 20cm spring-form tin, leaving the excess pastry to hang over the sides of the tin. Make sure that there are no cracks or holes in the pastry (if there are, use pastry to patch them up).

step 4

Pack the meat into the pastry case, building it up slightly in the middle. Roll out the rest of the pastry into a 20cm circle for the lid. Brush the edges with the reserved egg and lay the lid on top, pressing the edges together to seal. Cut off the excess pastry and crimp together the edges of the pie (roll out the trimmings to decorate the top if you like). Brush the top of the pie with egg, add any decorations on top and brush with egg again. Cut a 1cm hole in the top of the pie, put on a solid baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.

step 5

Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3 and continue to cook for a further 11/2 hours until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pie from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. Carefully unclip the spring- form tin, leaving the pie on the metal base. Brush the sides of the pie with beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes to brown the sides.


step 6

If you are using jellied stock, warm gently in a pan until liquid. If you are using ordinary stock, heat it in a small pan then drop in the soaked gelatine sheets and stir until dissolved. Use a small funnel (or jug) to pour the stock slowly and a little at a time into the pie to fill the gaps left bythecookedmeat.Youmayneedtogentlytiltthepie from side to side to help the stock soak into the pie crust. Cool and then chill overnight before serving.