This recipe essentially encapsulates why I love cooking Nigella Lawson’s recipes. It is unashamed decadence. It has chocolate chips, ice cream and caramelly butterscotch sauce. It’s a big frozen hug in a pie. It’s not elegant, it’s not refined, but dear me it tastes incredible. I’ve swapped the original coffee ice cream for vanilla, and added in a few spoons of nutella. Whichever way you choose to make it, it’s delicious.
My final pie doesn’t look the prettiest, sadly I’m entirely to blame. I’ll tell you my mistakes though, so hopefully yours will be the shiny, caramel topped beauty it should be.
My first mistake was in the pie dish. Mine just wasn’t big enough. It didn’t measure it, I just whipped one straight from the cupboard. It wasn’t deep enough to fill in the biscuit base, which in turn meant there wasn’t enough room for the ice cream or the caramel sauce, which ended up spilling all over my mum’s freezer. In fact I’ve just this minute realized I never got round to cleaning it out before coming back to Hong Kong so I imagine it’s still there, a sticky mess around the frozen peas…... Sorry Mummy! Moral of the story, use a decent sized pie dish. Nigella recommends a 23cm/9”pie dish. Listen to the woman.
Secondly, I found there wasn’t enough butter to make the biscuit stick together enough to form an all important, ice cream and butterscotch containing lip around the top of the dish. In this instance I’m ignoring Nigella and throwing in more butter. (but the previous comment about the pie dish still stands!).
Lastly, don’t make this pie the day you’re planning on serving it. You won’t have time for everything to set and cool and, like me, will inevitably end up pouring still warm butterscotch sauce over still rather runny ice cream, causing the whole lot to mingle together in a big messy puddle. Not that this messy puddle was bad, far from it, it still tasted incredible, but didn’t look quite as pretty as hoped. Waiting for it to freeze properly is an exercise in patience, but one I recommend you undertake.
So here are our lessons, use a proper sized pie dish and let everything chill properly.
Girdle Buster Pie
(adapted from Nigella Christmas)
375g digestive biscuits
50g chocolate chips,or chocolate pieces
1 litre vanilla ice cream
300g golden syrup
100g light brown muscavado sugar
125ml double cream
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons nutella
In a food processor, blitz together the biscuits, butter and chocolate chips until it comes together.
Press into a 23cm/9”pie dish. Don’t be tempted to use a smaller one, even if it is the prettier dish! Use the back of a spoon to press the biscuits up the side of the dish, and try and form a lip a little higher than the top of the dish. This will help you to keep all the ice cream and sauce in the pie.
Lightly cover with clingfilm,and set in the freezer for about an hour. Meanwhile, allow your ice cream to soften outside the freezer, you are aiming for a scoopable consistency. Spread it into the bottom of your biscuit lined dish. Add a few tablespoons of nutella, and spread across the top of the ice cream. Cover again with clingfilm and put back into the freezer to freeze hard again.
Put the sugar, syrup, salt and butter into a saucepan. Heat it until it melts, turn the heat up and let it boil for about five minutes. Add the cream and stir until it’s fully combined.
Cool the sauce until it is cold, but not fully set. Pour it over the ice cream and return to the freezer.