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Girdlebuster Pie

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
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Introduction

I confess: it was the title that lured me. Tell me you don’t feel the same. I came across this in a recipe by Elinor Klivans, whom I often turn to for chocolatey solace, in her The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook, which includes the wonderful phrase “let the chocolate chips fall where they will”. Although her recipes always work to the letter, my recipe is not hers. I am inspired by the digestive and chocolate base and coffee ice cream filling (though if you’re feeding children, I’d suggest vanilla) but I like a butterscotchy topping, which sets the minute it hits the ice cream. Sometimes bits of ice cream bubble up to the surface, making the top gloriously Florentined.

And the joy of the girdlebuster (as it is known for short at home) is that, should there be any left, you can put it back into its dish and just stash in the freezer again for midnight feasts. Admittedly, this is not huge, but a small slice is all that’s needed. Do not let it “ripen” out of the freezer before slicing because it all gets too sticky and drippy and messy.

I confess: it was the title that lured me. Tell me you don’t feel the same. I came across this in a recipe by Elinor Klivans, whom I often turn to for chocolatey solace, in her The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook, which includes the wonderful phrase “let the chocolate chips fall where they will”. Although her recipes always work to the letter, my recipe is not hers. I am inspired by the digestive and chocolate base and coffee ice cream filling (though if you’re feeding children, I’d suggest vanilla) but I like a butterscotchy topping, which sets the minute it hits the ice cream. Sometimes bits of ice cream bubble up to the surface, making the top gloriously Florentined.

And the joy of the girdlebuster (as it is known for short at home) is that, should there be any left, you can put it back into its dish and just stash in the freezer again for midnight feasts. Admittedly, this is not huge, but a small slice is all that’s needed. Do not let it “ripen” out of the freezer before slicing because it all gets too sticky and drippy and messy.

Girdlebuster Pie
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

Metric Cups

For the Base

  • 375 grams digestive biscuits
  • 75 grams soft butter
  • 50 grams dark chocolate chips or pieces
  • 50 grams milk chocolate chips or pieces

For the Ice Cream Filling

  • 1 litre coffee ice cream

For the Topping

  • 300 grams golden syrup
  • 100 grams light brown muscovado sugar
  • 75 grams butter
  • ¼ teaspoon maldon salt (or pinch of table salt - optional)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 125 millilitres double cream

For the Base

  • 14 ounces graham crackers
  • ¾ stick soft butter
  • ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or pieces
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips or pieces

For the Ice Cream Filling

  • 1 litre coffee ice cream

For the Topping

  • 1 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ stick butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes (or pinch of table salt - optional)
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Process the biscuits with the butter and chocolate pieces or chips until it forms a damp but still crumb-like clump.
  2. Press into a 23cm / 9 inch pie plate or flan dish. Form a lip of biscuit a little higher than the plate or dish if you can. This process takes patience as you need ideally to form a smooth even layer. Sorry.
  3. Freeze this biscuit-lined layer for about an hour so it gets really hard. In the meantime, let your ice cream soften, just enough to be scooped, in the fridge.
  4. Spread the ice cream into the hard-biscuit-lined dish to form a layer. Then cover in clingfilm and replace in the freezer.
  5. Put the syrup, sugar, salt (if using) and butter into a saucepan and let it melt over a low to medium heat, before turning it up and boiling for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the bourbon, letting it hiss in the pan.
  6. Add the cream and stir to mix into a sauce, then leave to cool. And once the sauce is cool, but not set cold, pour it over the pie to cover the ice cream layer and then put it back in the freezer. Once frozen, cover with clingfilm again.
  7. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, take the whole pie out of its dish and cut into slices. Should you have any pie left over, slip it quickly back into the dish and return, covered with clingfilm, to the freezer.
  1. Process the biscuits with the butter and chocolate pieces or chips until it forms a damp but still crumb-like clump.
  2. Press into a 23cm / 9 inch pie plate or flan dish. Form a lip of biscuit a little higher than the plate or dish if you can. This process takes patience as you need ideally to form a smooth even layer. Sorry.
  3. Freeze this biscuit-lined layer for about an hour so it gets really hard. In the meantime, let your ice cream soften, just enough to be scooped, in the fridge.
  4. Spread the ice cream into the hard-biscuit-lined dish to form a layer. Then cover in clingfilm and replace in the freezer.
  5. Put the syrup, sugar, salt (if using) and butter into a saucepan and let it melt over a low to medium heat, before turning it up and boiling for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the bourbon, letting it hiss in the pan.
  6. Add the cream and stir to mix into a sauce, then leave to cool. And once the sauce is cool, but not set cold, pour it over the pie to cover the ice cream layer and then put it back in the freezer. Once frozen, cover with clingfilm again.
  7. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, take the whole pie out of its dish and cut into slices. Should you have any pie left over, slip it quickly back into the dish and return, covered with clingfilm, to the freezer.

Additional Information

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Make and freeze the pie in its dish, as directed, but cover with clingfilm and a double layer of foil. Freeze for up to 6 months.

FREEZE AHEAD TIP: Make and freeze the pie in its dish, as directed, but cover with clingfilm and a double layer of foil. Freeze for up to 6 months.

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What 7 Others have said

  • I have made this quite a few times now and experimented with different flavours. Just made one with chocolate digestives (+a little cocoa powder) and Ben and Jerry's chocolate brownie ice cream. Just gone back in the freezer, very excited! Hob Nob biscuits for the base and honeycomb ice cream also works very well.

    Posted by Goodmanc1988 on 3rd July 2016
  • I made this and I busted my girdle.

    Posted by kimcooksforyou on 5th March 2014
  • Yep! I made it again with more success! Found a stronger tasting coffee ice cream, and used milk coffee biscuits instead of the digestives. Nom nom nom! You will not regret making this pie! :)

    Posted by Tellytubby85 on 20th December 2012
  • I made the pie as promised and it was a HIT. I am about to make it again soon, as it has been too long since the last one!

    Posted by Tonylunt on 13th November 2012
  • I just finished making this pie! I havent had a proper slice yet, but have had sneak tastes (couldn't help myself!) Wow! Yummy yummy yummy! I think I didn't leave the ice cream to set for long enough, as the butterscotch is looking rather creamy, and not much like nigellas example! Haha! But I know it will taste the same :-). I have a feeling this won't be the last time I make it, so I'll remember for next time. Enjoy!

    Posted by Tellytubby85 on 7th November 2012
  • Made this for a potluck at work, hoping it will be hit! I had to be sure and make a small pie for myself in a little ramekin, and it is utterly delicious! Such a treat.

    Posted by foodlovepeace on 11th November 2012
  • I am going to make this recipe for Christmas this year! it sure looks yummy!

    Posted by Tonylunt on 11th December 2011
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