What’s sweet, minty, and green all over? Don’t worry, it’s not the set up for a bad joke, but a grasshopper pie! With roots going back only to the 60’s, it’s a relative new comer on the pie scene, and yet no one is quite sure where the name came from. I might speculate that it’s “green as a grasshopper,” but then why didn’t they call it frog pie, or Calyptomena viridis pie? Not as catchy? No, I can’t imagine that’s the reason… It was allegedly said that “dinner guests sometimes click their heels with glee over a superb dessert,” but if that were the case, why aren’t there more grasshopper desserts? Wouldn’t we all be clicking our heels over every molten chocolate cake that crosses our lips?
Anyway, enough silliness, because this is one serious pie. Fortified with a splash of creme de mènthe and chilled, it’s a nostalgic adult treat that absolutely screams summer. Traditionally composed of marshmallows and cool whip, it’s one recipe that was all but off limits until recently, but all that has changed thanks to the brilliant Chicago Soy Dairy. Now that vegan marshmallows are more abundant, I can even justify using a whole bag in one recipe!
My take on grasshopper pie has some significant differences from the original, however- Most notably, mine gets its bulk and lovely green hue thanks to some creamy avocados, not artificial whipped topping or nasty green dye. Freezing it makes for a truly refreshing treat, and gives it the added bonus of being stable enough to make popsicles out of. Pi-sicles, if you will. Yes, you heard me right- Frozen grasshopper pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate!
What are you waiting for? This a pie that belongs on your summer menu, one way or another!
Frozen Grasshopper Pie
1 1/2 Cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs (15 Chocolate Sandwich Cookies)
5 Tablespoons Margarine, Melted
1 Cup Pureed Avocado (From About 2 Small, Ripe Avocados)
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Crème de Menthe*
1 10-Ounce Package Dandies Marshmallows
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
*To make this pie kid-friendly, replace the alcohol with 1/4 cup plain soymilk and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
Begin by combining the cookie crumbs and melted margarine in a large bowl, and stir well until there are no dry spots. Transfer this mixture to a 9-inch round pie tin, and use your fingers to press it evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Place the crust in your freezer until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can start preparing the filling. Puree your avocado using a blender or food processor, along with the lemon juice and crème de menthe. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically ensure you have no lumps of avocado. Set aside.
Place all of the marshmallows in a medium sauce pan, and set it over moderate heat. Stir continuously until the marshmallows have completely melted, and quickly transfer the marshmallow goo into your food processor or blender. Pulse to combine, and add in the salt, mint, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides once or twice between pulses, until the mixture is homogeneous. Pour into your frozen crust, and return the whole thing to the freezer. Let freeze for at least 4 hours, until set and sliceable. If desired, top with chocolate shavings, curls, or ganache. Alternately, cut into 8 slices, insert lollipop or popsicle sticks into the side crust, and dip in homemade magic shell (a double batch will cover the whole pie nicely and leave you with plenty leftover for other ice cream treats.)
Serves 8 – 10