David may be feeling confident about that clam chowder, but he has a confession to make -- he's never baked an apple pie before. And now he has to do it with mother staring down at him disapprovingly, and no, that's apparently not a euphemism. Sheetal, by contrast is very confident, in her apple pie -- it's headed into the oven while David is still futzing around with his crust. Instead of making a whole pie, David calls an audible and make a sort of apple crisp in an individual ramekin. You have to credit his inventiveness, even if you want to slap him upside the head.
That's one hour down, and two dishes left. The contestants turn their attention to the clam chowder. David is extremely confident in his chowder-fu: "If there's anything I know how to do right, it's clam chowder." Sheetal, meanwhile, is using a tip she apparently got from Joe and using shrimp shells to add flavor to her stock. Well, she's doomed here, isn't she?
That leaves us with veal Milanese. Sheetal's going the traditional route, which is pounding the veal, breading it, and pan-frying it. David decides to cook his veal in the oven, which, if the reactions of the other contestants are anything to go by, is the equivalent of crossing the streams at the end of Ghostbusters. Do not attempt this at home, people -- that man is a not-all-that-trained non-professional. Joe calls David's efforts "pretty ballsy." Why do I think that Joe's Word-A-Day calendar is 365 entries worth of "ballsy?" Plus "restaurant-quality" for the leap year.
So after much scrambling and screaming from Gordon and commercial breaks, Sheetal and David finish their three dishes. Gordon would like to try the clam chowder first. David is confident; Sheetal imagines what an upset it would be if her clam chowder were to win. In a break from tradition, David has desired to drizzle olive oil over his chowder, telling Gordon that he's trying to be ballsy. Joe smiles, though it's unclear whether that's caused by the olive oil or the co-opting of his favorite word. Gordon decides to taste the more traditional-looking chowder first. That's yours, Sheetal. Gordon finds the seasoning precise. "Really good indeed," he says. And David's? It's got a thinner texture, but the clams are cooked perfectly. It's a difficult choice, but after much hemming and hawing, Gordon declares David the winner of Battle Chowder on account of the clam favor. "If he wins the next one," Gordon reminds Sheetal, "you're leaving MasterChef." Somehow, I think that's unlikely, and not just because the apple pie competition is next.