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Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper pie was a favorite of Southern hostesses in the 1950s and '60s. We've updated the recipe, infusing the filling with fresh mint and adding coconut to the crust.

  • yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
Photography: Anna Williams

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Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pie plate
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 25) crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons green creme de menthe
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 bar (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate, chilled
  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate. Whisk together coconut, cookie crumbs, and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add melted butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture into pie plate. Bake until just set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 cups cream and the mint just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover. Let steep 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup. Discard the mint, and set cream aside. Beat the remaining cup cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover, and refrigerate.

  3. Step 3

    Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Put creme de menthe in a medium heatproof bowl, and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes to soften. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another medium bowl; set aside. Add steeped cream to gelatin mixture, whisking until well combined.

  4. Step 4

    Set bowl with cream mixture over a pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved and mixture is hot to the touch, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, pour hot cream mixture in a slow, steady stream into egg-yolk mixture. Return mixture to heatproof bowl; set over pan of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer bowl to ice-water bath; whisk until mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from bath. Add one-third of reserved whipped cream; whisk until combined. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream with a rubber spatula.

  6. Step 6

    Spoon mixture into pie crust; refrigerate until set, 45 minutes to 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Just before serving, scrape a chef's knife along surface of chocolate bar to make shavings. Spoon dollops of whipped cream onto pie, if desired, and top with chocolate shavings.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, April 2004

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Reviews (7)

  • PIE Lover 11 Mar, 2013

    Horrible pie! Not one of my favorites. I do not recommend! But, the crust helped.

  • ecandle96 9 Dec, 2011

    Not quite sweet enough for my taste. I left the coconut out of the crust (not a fan) and I wonder if this was enough to make the pie just this side short of sweet enough. I think next time I'd add a 1/2 cup sugar to the egg mixture.
    I was concerned about the filling being thick enough, similar to others I never got the filling to reach a "pudding" consistency in the ice bath. But once I put it in the fridge the gelatin cooled and thickened up the pie considerably, making for easy serving.

  • lmwilcox5028 16 Mar, 2009

    We did not like this recipe at all. The mint flavor was not good - my husband compared it to caugh medicine. We much prefer the recipe from the Eagle Brand Minty Grasshopper Pie. I made that recipe, but added peppermint extract and Bailys Choc. mint liquer. The taste was just like mint chocolate chip ice cream.

  • DessertFanatic 25 Mar, 2008

    I had a 2nd go-around with this pie yesterday, and I had trouble getting the right consistency. The cream mixture reached 150 in 3 min. this time, and I think that it definitely needs to stay over the heat for longer time to thicken. I don't know why mine reaches temperature so quickly. I saved it by freezing the pie, and I liked that better. I used 3/4 tsp of peppermint extract, since I still can't find creme de menthe. The flavor was better, but it still had a leafy aftertaste.

  • DessertFanatic 19 Mar, 2008

    I was worried that this wasn't going to turn out right, because my cream/gelatin mixture reached 150 degrees in about 5-6 min. I didn't think it looked as thick as I thought it should be, but I decided to put it in the water bath anyway. While I was whisking it in the water bath, it didn't seem like it was getting to a pudding consistency. Mine was like a thin pudding. BUT, once finished, the texture of my pie turned out perfectly, and it looks just like the picture, so trust the recipe.

  • DessertFanatic 19 Mar, 2008

    I couldn't find creme de menthe, so I put in 1/4 tsp mint extract and filled the rest with water to make 3 Tbsp, and added 4 drops of coloring. I wanted to be cautious about how much extract I added, because I didn't want it to be overpowering. Now that I've tasted it, it definitely needed more extract. The mint flavor was too subtle. It also had a very mint-leafy aftertaste, which I didn't care for. Next time, I would either add more mint extract OR use peppermint extract, which I prefer

  • woodensandals 16 Mar, 2008

    tips - (because mine wasn't perfect)

    During step 4 make sure you wait until the mixture gets thicker.. I did mine for 10 minutes and it reached 150, but in Step 5 I couldn't get it to a pudding consistency. I had to add more gelatin to get it right which ruined the texture f the pie.

    If you only have clear creme de menthe just add food coloring. That's what is in the bottle anyway.