Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Grasshopper Pie

During college, in addition to protesting (it was the 1970s), studying, experimenting with all manner of things (again, the 1970s), I worked as a waitress in a couple of restaurants.  One, CJ's Tavern,  was in a mall on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin, to which I hitchhiked or took the bus. At CJ's, the cooks made everything from scratch -- I still remember the yeasty aroma from huge mixer where dough for the bread was kneaded every day. (I also recall on the rare occasions when both the owner and the head chef were not working, all of us going into the huge walk-in refrigerator and grabbing handfuls of the exotic-to-us fresh crab meat meant for the Crab Louie salad.  (Sorry about that.)

Anyway, at the end of each shift, we would all gather at the restaurant bar to count our tips while the bartender prepared Grasshoppers, a cocktail with creme de menthe, creme de cacao and ice cream, blended together so it was a dessert and cocktail in one. (I recently ordered a Grasshopper at a chic Manhattan restaurant and it was so modernized, it tasted nothing like the smooth, sweet cocktail confection of my memory.)

That's a long way to get to this vintage recipe for Grasshopper pie, but you can imagine my delight when I found one. It is extremely light and rather delicious and very easy to prepare. (A Google search revealed an even earlier version where a more traditional meringue is used instead of marshmallows.)

 Begin with chocolate wafers for the crust.

Crush them in a food processor or by placing them in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin, or skillet or wine bottle. Mix the crumbs with melted butter and press into an eight-inch pie pan, reserving some for the topping. Bake for about eight minutes.

Next, melt the marshmallows with the milk in a double boiler (or in a bowl set atop a saucepan of simmering water.

When melted, stir in the creme de cocoa and creme de menthe.

Pour the mixture into the crust, smoothing out the top. 

Add the reserved crumbs to decorate the top. Refrigerate for several hours.

Production notes: I followed this recipe exactly, except I baked the crust (at 350 F for about 8 to 12 minutes). Also, I'd suggest adding more of the liquors -- the taste was very subtle. If you want the pie to be green, just add a drop or two of green food coloring after adding in the liquors.

Family members enjoying the pie at our annual Jersey shore rendezvous last month.