Saturday, February 19, 2011

Grasshopper Pie: Chocolate Mint Pie Day

Today is National Chocolate Mint Pie Day, so I thought I'd do a post on Grasshopper Pie!

Grasshopper Pie is named because of its green color, although modern recipes may omit coloring the pie green. This pie was most likely invented in the 1950s in the United States, and may have been inspired by the "Grasshopper Cocktail" invented at about the same time. Grasshopper Pie is a chiffon pie usually made with a Chocolate Cookie Crust.

Chiffon pies in the 1950s were often a combination of whipping cream, gelatin, sugar, eggs, and flavoring (see vintage recipe at the end of this post). In the case of the Grasshopper Pie, common flavoring used was alcohol in the form of crème de menthe, and sometimes other alcohols like crème de cacao. For non-alcoholic pie, mint flavoring was achieved by using mint extracts instead, though these might still contain a tiny amount of alcohol. Green food coloring was a frequent addition to give the pie a light green color.

There are huge differences between classic recipes for Grasshopper Pie and modern ones. Since gelatin can be somewhat annoying to work with, many people now prepare the pie by melting marshmallows and blending them with milk or whipping cream, and sometimes cream cheese. Green food coloring can be optional. Several recipes advocate the use of specific cookies like Oreos, but I use chocolate wafers.

In the US, Grasshopper Pie tends to be most popular in the South, but other parts of the country enjoy it too. The pie rose in popularity especially up until the 1970s. Many ice cream stores capitalized on the flavor of this pie by producing their own version with mint or mint chocolate chip ice cream and a cookie crust. Some ice cream stores are particularly known for their grasshopper ice-cream pies.

Following are several different recipes for Grasshopper Pie. Let me know if you have a special family recipe. 

Simple Grasshopper Mallow Pie recipe from Kraft

Ingredients
1/4 cup green creme de menthe
1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 pt. (2 cups) whipping cream, whipped
1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.)

ADD creme de menthe gradually to marshmallow creme in large bowl, beating with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped cream.
POUR into crust.
REFRIGERATE 4 to 6 hours or until chilled. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

This Frozen Grasshopper Pie Recipe is from cooks.com

FROZEN GRASSHOPPER PIE

Ingredients
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 rows Oreo cookies (lg. pkg.) crushed (you can also use chocolate cookies)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. creme de menthe
1/4 c. white creme de cacao
2 c. (1 pt.) whipping cream, whipped

Directions
Combine crushed Oreos and butter and press in bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. In large bowl combine sweetened milk, creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Fold in whipped cream.
Pour over crust. Cover. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Garnish with chocolate curls. Return leftovers to freezer.

Expert Grasshopper Pie From Bon Appétit

Ingredients
Crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
22 chocolate wafer cookies
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Baker’s or Lindt), chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons green crème de menthe
2 tablespoons light crème de cacao
3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
Shaved white and dark chocolates

Directions
  1. For crust: Spray 9-inch-diameter glass or ceramic pie dish with nonstick spray. Finely grind chocolate cookies and sugar in processor. Blend in butter. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish. Freeze.
  2. For filling: Combine milk and salt in heavy small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Whisk egg yolks and cornstarch in medium bowl to blend well. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and butter; whisk until smooth. Transfer custard to large bowl. Whisk in crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Set custard over another large bowl of ice water until cold and thick but not set, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
  3. Whip cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of whipped cream into custard. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Pour filling into crust. Freeze at least 5 hours or up to 2 days. Garnish with shaved chocolates.

And one more, Vintage Cookbook Recipe for Grasshopper Pie that includes gelatin!



Want to make the Classic Grasshopper Cocktail?

Grasshopper Cocktail
1/2oz. Green Creme de Menthe
1/2 oz. White Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz. Cream


Combine in a blender with 1 cup of crushed ice. Blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). Serve in a Collins glass.

5 comments:

CopyKat Recipes said...

I love vintage cookbooks. Some of those recipes seem a little crazy inside of them. My grandmother has a recipe for iced liverwurst, it gets iced with cream cheese.

Janet Rudolph said...

OMG. Can't imagine iced liverwurst, but the cream cheese with it, might make it palatable..even for me :-)

ALM said...

Hello fellow blogger! I was searching for a green pie image, and yours was the best one I found: hope you don't mind that I used it in my post here. Of course I included a link to your post to give you due credit.
http://almgreen.blogspot.com/2011/03/pi-day-314.html

Cheers!
ALM

Janet Rudolph said...

thanks. I'm not sure about the second image. The first one is from an old vintage ad, but the second.. oh my..

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