Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grasshopper Pie -- or Parfait


For the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist yesterday, I made a Grasshopper Pie. That's as close as I was getting to locusts and honey. Yeah, I'm a wimp that way.

The pie was a huge hit at my house -- my children had apparently never had Grasshopper Pie, even though mint and chocolate are very popular flavors around here (you will always find York Peppermint Patties in my husband's "secret" hiding place, and you'll almost always find mint chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer -- unless it's almost shopping day and we're out). The recipe came from Sugar Plum: Vision of Sweets and I would make it exactly the same again. As I was enjoying it, however, I was thinking about Charlotte's parfaits and realized the filling of the pie would be wonderful layered with chocolate pudding, Oreo cookie crumbs and whipped cream. To me, parfaits just look so special, so celebratory -- I think my kids would like them even better than the pie. So, note to self: next year on this feast day, use the filling and make pretty Grasshopper Parfaits.

This pie, however, would make a cool and creamy ending to any summer supper.

Grasshopper Pie
makes 8 servings

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2 cups finely ground Oreo cookie crumbs
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
2 T. cornstarch
1t. vanilla extract
1 t. green peppermint extract (I was not able to find green extract, so I used extra green food coloring -- probably 6 - 8 drops in all)
Green food coloring
24 Andes mints, coarsely chopped (I used more like 28 -- more is better!)
2 T. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs and melted butter until well combined; press into 9-inch pie dish. Bake 6-8 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely.

Whisk eggs together in a large bowl until combined. In a medium saucepan, whisk together condensed milk, 1 cup heavy cream, and cornstarch until combined; bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Gradually whisk half of the hot cream into eggs until combined; slowly whisk egg mixture into saucepan. Cook mixture for 4-5 minutes or until it thickens up and coats the back of a spoon. I let it almost come to a simmer. Remove custard from heat and strain into a large mixing bowl. Lightly cover and refrigerate until cold - about 1 hour (probably need a little longer).

Beat vanilla, peppermint extract, and a few drops of green food coloring into cooled custard, using a mixer on high speed. Beat mixture for 2 minutes or until creamy and fluffy (I can't say mine ever got fluffy -- but it was definitely creamy). Gently stir half (I used 15) of the chopped mints into custard; evenly spread custard into pie crust.

To make the whipped cream, beat additional 1 cup heavy cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over top of pie. Garnish with additional chopped mints. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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