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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Girdlebuster Pie Quantities

    I enjoyed the Girdlebuster Pie that I made from Nigella's Christmas book, but I was wondering if there was a mistake in the ingredients? In my American edition it calls for 14 ounces of graham crackers for the crust, which is an entire box. It seemed like a lot, but I processed all the crackers with the butter and chocolate - and ended up with enough crust for 2 pies, plus more left over. I packed the crust as thick as I could get for the 2 pies, still leaving enough room for ice cream, and still had leftover crumbs. Plus, it didn't seem like there was enough butter to hold it together, as the pie was very crumbly even after being in the freezer. Could there have been a mistake in my edition?

    From the nigella team:

    The 14 ounces (1 box) graham crackers is correct, it is very slightly more than the UK's recipe which uses 375g of digestive biscuits. The amount of butter in the US edition was also increased slightly to allow for the small difference between the weights of the two ingredients.

    The crust itself should be relatively thick, as can be seen from the photograph on p86 of Christmas. The crust should also come slightly above the pie dish, to make sure that the caramel topping does not overflow. Using a measuring cup or straight-sided water glass to press the crust into the pie dish can also help, as these can compress the crust firmly and give a smooth, even finish.

    The butter should be fairly soft to make sure that it distributes evenly in the cracker crumbs. If it is still cold then it may be better to melt the butter before adding it to the cracker crumbs. If you feel more comfortable adding extra butter then we would suggest adding 1 tablespoon at a time, but only enough for the crumbs to just hold together. If you add too much butter then the crust could become very firm and difficult to cut, as the pie needs to be served directly from the freezer.

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