In my search for a pie that satisfies both my chocolate theme for the month as well as my husband's flavor preferences, I happened upon grasshopper pie. I've heard of this pie but never tasted one nor ever made one considering my dismal pie IQ. When I discovered that chocolate and mint are the dominant ingredients, I knew Joe would approve.
Grasshopper pie came into vogue in the 1950's and was most likely inspired by the cocktail of the same name. The light green hue is attributed to the creme de menthe in the recipe. Creme de cacao deepens the minty flavor with a chocolate base. Some believe the cocktail and the pie were inspired by the green grasshopper. Interestingly, there is another type of grasshopper pie dating back to the early 1900's in the Philippines. This version of the pie used actual grasshoppers which were sugared and baked, providing a crunchy texture thought to be quite appetizing.
I may be on an adventurous pie making jag, but I think I'll omit the grasshoppers in my recipe, even though my husband would be game. One August a few years ago when grasshoppers descended on our town like one of my biblical plagues, Joe rounded up some of the neighbor boys to harvest as many grasshoppers as they could. He gathered the boys with their bounty into the kitchen where they proceeded to deep fat fry those hapless insects. The sickening sizzling sound was enough to send me running from the room.
But getting back to grasshopper pie, which at this point I almost want to rename to something that does not evoke a crunchy dead bug....
Grasshopper pie is classified as a chiffon pie, an airy concoction of whipped egg whites and light pudding. My version does not use egg whites but rather marshmallows and whipped cream. It's a quick and easy recipe you can make ahead and freeze a few days before serving. The mint Oreo crust is the perfect anchor to the light filling. If mint Oreos are not available in your area, regular Oreos will suffice. Just add 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract to the crust ingredients.
Grasshopper pie is a pretty pie as well. The appealing green tint makes this pie suitable for the Christmas holiday or Saint Patrick's Day. Being a frozen pie, it's also perfect for serving during the hot summer months when you are certain to have an abundance of grasshoppers you can use for garnish, if you so desire.
30 Mint Oreo cookies, crushed
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix crushed Oreo cookies and butter. Pat into bottom and up sides of a 9 1/2" deep dish pie pan. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes; remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled, place in freezer to chill.
1 cup milk (1% or 2%)
36 large marshmallows
1/3 cup creme de menthe liqueur
3 tablespoons white creme de cacao liqueur
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Mint Oreos or Andes Mint candy pieces for garnish (optional)
In saucepan, melt marshmallows in milk over medium heat. Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator until mixture holds its shape when dropped from a spoon. Add creme de menthe and creme de cacao and mix well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into chilled pie shell. Freeze 3 - 4 hours before serving. If desired, garnish with chopped mint Oreos or with Andes mint pieces.