This is a dual-purpose post: Pi Day is tomorrow and St. Patrick’s Day is on Friday. This sweet treat is versatile enough to celebrate both. It’s a dessert that illustrates why some flavors are just meant to go together, like mint and chocolate. Some of you purists may question if it’s really pie. After all, there is no baking involved. But, statistically speaking, the odds are your family and friends will approve. Make a chocolate cookie crust, fill it with a light, minty-flavored mousse, decorate it with rosettes of whipped cream, and add a little more chocolate, in the form of shavings or curls. Grasshopper pie, the retro specialty that seems to have found new popularity, fits the bill perfectly as a St. Patrick’s Day dessert. It’s green, and it’s light enough to follow a meal of corned beef and cabbage, Guinness stew, lamb, Irish bacon, or whatever your menu might include. So here’s to mathematics and Irish saints, and good food all around. Enjoy!
Grasshopper Pie (and Pi Day)
- For the cookie crust:
- 1½ cups crushed chocolate cookies, a few reserved for garnish
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- For the Grasshopper Filling:
- 24 large marshmallows
- ⅔ cup whole milk or light cream
- 3 tablespoons creme de menthe liqueur
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- A drop or two of green food coloring (optional, but if you do, be careful!)
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- Chocolate shavings, or curls, for garnish (optional, but good)
- Mix the cookie crumbs and the melted butter in a medium bowl until the texture resembles wet sand. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, ensuring the crumb layer is evenly distributed. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
- In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, mix the marshmallows and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until the marshmallows melt and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. Stir in the creme de menthe, and, if you choose, a mere drop of green food coloring.
- Whip 1 cup of the heavy cream to soft peaks. Pour the cooled marshmallow mixture into the cream and fold together until blended. Pour the filling into the chilled crust and place in the freezer. Let the pie set for 2 to 4 hours.
- Whip the remaining ½ cup of cream, with the 1 tablespoon of confectioner's sugar, to soft peaks. Pipe the cream decoratively around the edge of the pie, and sprinkle the shaved chocolate in the center of the pie. If you like, set a quarter piece of chocolate cookie wafer jauntily atop each whipped cream rosette. Serve immediately and store leftovers in the freezer.