Sourcing ingredients: I found everything I needed at the supermarket.
Total preparation and cooking time: Each part doesn’t take much time to make, but you have to freeze each layer in between. So realistically you need the whole day. The longer you freeze it, the better the result.
Serves: Nigella says 10, but I think she’s talking about sumo wrestlers or giants or something
Difficulty: Easy, but time consuming.
I’m an impulse buyer. If I hear about something (it’s usually the latest video game), I need to own it immediately. The only thought that enters my mind is “My life will never be complete if I don’t have [insert item that probably won’t complete my life] right now”. I can’t borrow the item. I have to own it. I once purchased a computer game on TradeMe, called the guy immediately and asked if I could drive over to collect it and pay for it in cash. “I’m going out in 15 minutes, but I’ll be at home all day tomorrow” he said. I was on his doorstep 14 minutes later.
A few months ago I received my weekly email from Moreish promoting their delicious meat goods, including a limited stock of free-range rabbit. Despite never having cooked up a Peter before, this was something I needed. My life would not be complete without it. When talking to a fellow epicurean about what to do with my once fluffy friend, she recommended rabbit pie. Perfect!
Then last week the stars aligned and Nigella sent a tweet about her decadent and coma-inducing Girdlebuster Pie.
— Nigella Lawson (@Nigella_Lawson) October 28, 2012
I had to make it. Immediately. But I also had Bugs to deal with. So many things that needed my immediate attention! There was only one thing for it.
OK @Nigella_Lawson, since your post about Girdlebuster Pie, I've got pies on the brain. This weekend = PIE-STRAVAGANZA!
— Kim (@kimcooksforyou) October 2, 2013
Unfortunately since Nigella gets about about million tweets a day from her fans telling her what recipes they have been inspired to make (all of them) and how much they love her (a lot), I didn’t get a response to validate my decision. Although I did get a message from her once:
We rustled up some guests and the wheels of my pie-based dinner party dream were in motion. All aboard the pastry train! Next stop – Pie-radice!
The Girdlebuster Pie is made in three stages, so you really do need the whole day. I started at about midday and I got the last layer on at 5.30pm. We ate dessert at around 9.00pm and the top wasn’t quite set. A few extra hours would have done the trick.
As logic would suggest, you start by making the base. This very healthy* base consists of chocolate digestive biscuits, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and butter.
The process is simple. Put all ingredients into food processor. Turn that puppy on and watch the magic happen.
Even if your flan/pie dish says it’s non-stick, make sure you still grease it. Don’t be fooled. I had to serve individual cheesecakes literally in my “unique non stick bakeware” tins because they lied. I’m not bitter**.
Once your biscuit base has turned to crumbs and the butter has mixed through so it all sort of sticks together in one big delicious chocolate biscuit butter mess, resist the urge to consume and tip into your flan dish. It’s not quite as satisfying as demolishing it right away but remember, we’re playing a long game.
The Domestic Goddess apologises in her post when she describes forming a smooth lip of biscuit a little higher than the plate or dish you are using. She does this because it’s time consuming. Don’t rush it though. The higher you can get your biscuit lip (gross), the more room you have for your pie innards.
I used the back of a soup spoon to smooth the base, then just used my hands to build the lip. It reminded me of building sandcastles when I was younger, except this is much tastier than sand.
I put this into our chest freezer to freeze, and popped the ice cream into the fridge to soften. Like Nigella says, I did this for 60 minutes.
The biscuit base came out of the freezer and in went the ice cream. This was really easy. Nigella says to use a litre of ice cream, but I found I couldn’t quite fit the entire litre in there.
It was fine though. I gave the leftover ice cream a good home. In my face.
I covered it with Gladwrap (New Zealand’s equivalent to Nigella’s clingfilm) and put it back in the freezer. I left it like this for a couple of hours.
In the interim, I made the top.
I put the golden syrup, muscovado sugar, a pinch of table salt and butter into my saucepan and put it on a low heat (about 5 on my induction stove top). It took about five minutes to melt, then it started boiling all on its own. I turned it up slightly to 6 for another five minutes, then turned off the heat and poured in the bourbon. It hissed, much like I do when bourbon is poured into me.
I poured the cream in next (no hissing this time, cream is delicious) and left it on the bench to cool. This took a good couple of hours to cool completely, but if you wanted to speed things up you could always dunk the pot into a sink of cold water.
I took the base and ice cream out of the freezer and drizzled the sticky sauce over the top. The ice cream started melting immediately which makes me think I got impatient with my cooling time.
I put it back in the freezer to “freeze” then covered it with Gladwrap again. I shouldn’t have covered it again. When I tried to take the Gladwrap off, the sauce stuck to it and made a mess. I had to use my fingers and peel the sauce off and put it back on the pie. It’s lucky I can think on my feet like that.
The end result
Who ate all the pies? It was me. Well, it would have been me if it wasn’t so rich! Don’t get me wrong, this pie was flan-tastic, but it’s not for the faint hearted. The base was chocolatey and delicious, the vanilla ice cream was vanilla ice cream and the sauce? Oh the sauce. Toffee-like in flavour and texture, it was sticky, sickly and superb. And my girdle? Well and truly busted.
*not very healthy
**I’m quite bitter
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