Grasshopper Pie

11 Jul

Grasshopper Pie with chocolate Cool green mint mousse, over a chocolate biscuit base. A cloud of whipped cream hides nuggets of chocolate – a surprise texture in the midst of all that smooth silkiness. Grasshopper pie is quite retro, but since I was serving a rather retro dinner (tacos with all the fixins) I thought this was apt. Tacos are also very healthy – no cream, no butter, lots of fresh veg. So something as decadent as this is a fun trade off. And watching the World Cup finals, it was imperative that we have something very satisfying and comforting and delicious. This one comes up trumps on all counts.

Its also very easy to make. I do the biscuit base, the mousse and sprinkle the chocolate nuggets the night before. I decide if I am really gonna go whole hog so to speak the day of serving. Agar agar is cooked with milk and eggs to form a custard. Creme de menthe is added, and whipped cream “lightens” (dont you wish) the whole thing. Pour it onto the biscuits, sprinkle nuggets of chocolate over, and refrigerate. Perfection.

By the way, this recipe calls for a double boiler. But I dont have one, and couldnt be bothered with one if I did. I boil water in a saucepan, and set a heatproof bowl over. Enough lah.

You can serve this three ways. For a very elegant, pure green pie, stop with pouring the mint mousse into the pie plate. It is very grown up and sexy. For a slightly rowdier pie, textural and delicious, stop with sprinkling the chocolate pieces (or shaving some chocolate if you want something slightly more sophisticated) over the mint mousse. Which, as you can see from the photo, is what I have decided to do. And finally for over the top lushness, top the whole thing with whipped cream. I might still yet be tempted 😉

For one 10 inch pie, you will need:

  • 12 Mint Milano cookies, crushed
  • 10 chocolate wafer biscuits, crushed
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp agar agar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup creme de menthe
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate bits
  • additional whipped cream (about 1 cup) to cover

Place all your cookies in a zip loc plastic bag, and crush. I usually bang them about with the bottom of my olive oil bottle. Tip all the biscuits into a pie plate, and make a little well in the centre. Melt 4 tbsp butter, and pour over the cookies. Using your fingers, mix well, and pat to form a crust. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large, heatproof (metal) bowl, pour milk and sprinkle over agar agar. Leave for 5 minutes to let the agar agar soften.

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water, and bring to the boil. The agar agar should have incorporated into the milk by then. Whisk to combine, and place the large bowl over the top of the saucepan. Lower heat. Cook the milk and agar agar, whisking often, for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until the agar agar has been completely combined into the milk. It will thicken, and as its cooking, you will be able to taste and see the grainy agar agar. Keep at it, and keep whisking, and the agar agar will melt into the milk. Youre ready for the next step when it is silky smooth.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks together with 4 tbsp caster sugar until light and lemon coloured.

When the milk mixture has thickened, and there is no more grittiness from the agar agar, take the bowl off the heat, with a cloth or oven mitt, and drip the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk, whisking constantly. The mixture will incorporate, and immediately whisk in the creme de menthe. Put the bowl over the boiling water in the saucepan again, and keep whisking until the mixture is the consistency of a thick custard. This should take about 5 – 10 minutes. Be patient, and keep beating often!

Meanwhile, beat 1 cup cream in a stand mixer (so you have time to also focus on the mint custard) until it holds stiff peaks. As soon as the custard is thick like a pudding, place the hot bowl over a bowl filled with ice. Please remember to use a cloth or oven mitt to transfer! This will cool down the mixture significantly. Remember to continue whisking all the while. As soon as the mixture is lukewarm, whisk half the whipped cream to combine. Fold the remaining cream into the mixture until combined, but do it gentlegentle. You want to keep some of the air in there!

Pour this mixture into the prepared pie plate, and sprinkle with chocolate. I usually use dark chocolate, but you could use anything you like.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Up to 8 hours before serving, whip an additional cup of cream and a whisper of agar agar (to help it hold) and mound over the top. You could flavour this cream if you like – a scant teaspoon of caster sugar and some vanilla, or some dark cocoa powder, or even a little bit of coffee. You could do without this though if you just cant deal with so much richness. The pie is divine as is!

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2 Responses to “Grasshopper Pie”

  1. Mariana July 12, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    … and you make it sound so easy … hmpf 🙂

    • delectableblog July 12, 2010 at 9:37 am #

      Lol Ana, it was relatively easy 😛 A little nip of the creme de menthe helped everything flow smoooothly 😛

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