it’s sweetness that i’m thinking of

Girdlebuster pie. There’s not much I can say about it that its list of ingredients doesn’t explain better. There really isn’t one positive thing about these ingredients. It’s a menace to society. This pie is as punk as they come.

Tim: We should have this pie before and after dinner.

I made Girdlebuster pie from Nigella Christmas three weeks ago for Rod Stewart Appreciation Day. However, I also made a roasting dish full of macaroni cheese and plenty else besides, and hadn’t banked on how full everyone would be. The pie remained in the freezer. My best friend was visiting Wellington and came over for dinner last week. I planned on serving this pie triumphantly for pudding. However the dinner I made filled us up too much and we were too tired to eat anything else. The pie remained in the freezer. I began to wonder if the pie was cursed.

In hindsight this is kind of stupid, and maybe I just need to stop overfeeding everyone I meet.

Unable to deal with it sitting there sullenly by the tray of ice cubes, I brought it out after dinner last night. Holy cow. It won’t just bust your girdle, it’ll dissolve your teeth. Potentially it will remove years from your life. But people, it tastes incredible.

Girdlebuster Pie

From Nigella Christmas. Who else could this have come from?

  • 375g digestive/superwine/Girl Guide biscuits 
  • 75g soft butter
  • 100g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 litre coffee flavoured ice cream
  • 300g golden syrup
  • 100 light muscovado sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (I used whisky)
  • 125ml cream

In a food processor, blast the biscuits, the butter and the chocolate pieces till it’s all crumbs. In all frightening honesty I added a little more butter as it seemed too dry. Press into a 23cm pie plate (I had a 25cm one which was sweet as) working carefully to form a ‘lip’ of biscuit higher than the rim of the dish if you can. Took me a while but wasn’t too tough. Freeze, till solid.

Let the ice cream soften, then spread it into the biscuit base carefully. Cover in clingfilm, return to the freezer. Meanwhile, put the sugar, syrup and butter into a saucepan and let it melt over a low to medium heat, then turn it up to boiling for five minutes. It will get darker and bubbly but try and let it stay there as long as you dare. Without it burning fully of course. Remove from the heat and add the bourbon. It will hiss and splutter a bit. Add the cream, stir in thoroughly, then allow the sauce to cool a bit. Pour it over the pie to cover the ice cream layer, and return to the freezer. Serve it straight from the freezer – no need to let it thaw.

I always offer a sneer when a recipe says to cut into small slices because it’s rich. With that in mind, kindly don’t sneer when I ask you to do the same here. This isn’t so much rich as deadly, deadly sweet. Its sweetness is like anaconda venom. Fun at first, but then five minutes later you can’t feel your legs. Maybe I’m mixing my metaphors here. Long story short, don’t wear a high-waisted pencil skirt while you’re eating this (fellas, I’m looking at you too).

Apologies for the terrible photography. For some reason my camera was on a particularly grainy setting…like there was a dusting of sugar across the lens…

Aside from the fact that one slice sent me into a frantic, blinky downward spiral as my blood cells united to try and fight off the caramel sauce, it is rather delicious. It’s not rocket science – chocolatey biscuit base, cold, creamy ice cream centre, and sauce, darkly toffee-d and deepened by the splash of alcohol – but experiencing them all together is something of a revelation, like every single public holiday and birthday and bar mitzvah condensed into one pie dish. It’s delicious, but it’s hardcore. Eat with trepidation.

Tonight I went to a preview of BOY, a film by the exceptionally talented Taika Waititi (of Two Cars, One Night and Eagle vs Shark). Boy is a rather stunning film, with lots of quickly cut light and dark moments, gorgeous visuals (including hand-scrawled animation) and perfect music choices, but what really moves it forward is the beautiful acting performances from everyone on screen. Go see it if you can – it’s pretty easy to love.

Title brought to you by Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance! Such an excellent song! That it deserves more exclamation marks! The video I link to is her looking amazing while performing at the Smash Hits awards in 1989. I wonder if they still have the Best House/Rap/Dance outfit award? This song is from her album Raw Like Sushi, which is just the sort of simile I’d employ if I was making that album too. Love your work, Neneh.

Music while I type:

Lazy Line Painter Jane by Belle and Sebastian from their EP of the same name. I wouldn’t say I’m a Belle and Sebastian fan but I do love this song – from it’s purposefully strummed opening chords to the rather glorious coda five minutes later. Worth sitting round for.

Grandmaster Flash, The Message. The other day Tim was singing away, all “Don’t. Push. Me. Cause. I’m. Close. To. The. Edge” while we were doing groceries and kid you not, I told him to stop singing Limp Bizkit. Oops. Either it has been too long since I’ve heard this song or Tim is really bad at his vocal interpretations. Either way we both kind of suck. You have to admit, taken out of context, those lyrics do have a nu-metal tang to them. Unlike us, this song doesn’t suck. Hypnotic beat, relaxed delivery, and completely, completely classic.

Vampire Weekend, Cousins, from their latest album Contra. This is the first song Vampire Weekend has put out there which has really gripped me (not that they care, I’m sure.) It’s so high energy and catchy and over before you know it and all those other good things that a pop song should be.
Next time: I might make something a little more grown-up. I have two quinces in the fridge, I’m trying to work out how to best celebrate them being in season, I’m thinking sorbet…

9 thoughts on “it’s sweetness that i’m thinking of

  1. alana says:

    Wow. Just looking at that pie makes me take a deep breath. Damn, looks sweet. But YUMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Definitely one to try…
    There's a Rod Stewart appreciation day?


  2. Hannah says:

    I don't think that's a bad photo at all – it completely encapsulates the gooey sweetness you describe! A part of me knows this will be too sweet for me… the other part is saying “but… you know… there's some salt there…”

    Hopefully Boy will be out in Australia when I get back!


  3. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Alana: Heck yes, there's a Rod Stewart Appreciation Day! 🙂

    Hannah: Ah, thanks! Hope you get to see Boy, even though it's a pretty strongly New Zealand tale I am sure it has world appeal.

    Sadako: Thanks! And good idea. Seriously. Elasticated waist only.


  4. arista says:

    'Buffalo Stance!' is what I thought when I saw the name of your post. Do we get points for recognising the song? I actually still have the record – the 12″ remix. That's how old I am.
    Girdlebuster pie looks ridiculously over the top. I'd definitely give it a try though.


  5. Kay says:

    Love the name of the pie!

    What ballet did you see?

    Off to birthday lunch today with my plate of never-fail asparagus rolls.

    Tah dahhhhh – did some baking last night after I accidentally found a recipe for the easiest slice-slash-cake. Melt-the-butter-and-add eggsm and other usuals plus vanilla and, in place of the mixed fruit which the recipe recommended, I added a half and half mix of chopped glace cherries and almonds. Absolutely delish and gets better for sitting for awhile. I'm thinking of going to buy more ingredients. A cook is born!


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