Friday, 14 September 2012

Virgin Grasshopper Pie


This is my non alcoholic version of an American 1950's grasshopper pie, these original "Chiffon" pies mainly consisted of whipping cream, gelatin, sugar, eggs, and flavouring. They come in range of colours, from a dayglo oranges to vibrant reds. In the case of the grasshopper pie, common flavouring used was alcohol in the form of crème de menthe, and sometimes other alcohols like crème de cacao, but because I don't drink either of those, I used mint flavouring and green food colouring. The original inspiration for this pie must have been the grasshopper cocktail, which has been described as a liquid After 8 mint! 
I first saw this pie in Nigells Lawson's Kitchen cookbook, she uses melted marshmallows and goes the whole hog on the drinks front, I though that it might be too sweet, but you decide. In this pie, the mint isn't too overwhelming and the chocolate base is crunchy and sweet. Personally I love the colour combination and I find it very pleasing on the eye and on the palate!


Serves 8

Ingredients
275g Bourbon Creams biscuits
140g Butter, melted
230g Mascarpone cheese
100g Caster sugar
230g Whipping cream
1tsp Peppermint flavouring
Green food colouring
2 Dark chocolate squares

Method
Crush the biscuits, until they resemble fine breadcrumbs, I personally like the bash the living daylights out of them in a bag method (make sure your plastic bag is up to the challenge, otherwise crumbs all over the counter!) but you are free to use a food processor. Add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits and mix thoroughly.  Using a spoon, spread the mixture over the base of a 26cm loose bottomed tart tin. Chill in the freezer for 10 -15 minutes.




Meanwhile whip the mascarpone cheese and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved, using either a hand mixer or (my personal favourite) a stand mixer.



Pour the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture and (slowly at first) whip for 4-5 minutes or until the soft peak stage. Add the peppermint flavouring and whip for 1 minute.





Add the green food colouring, I wanted a mint green shade so I used 5-6 drops, but you decide.



Whip the minty mixture until is at the stiff peak stage so it will set firm and slice better. Spread the minty mixture over the chilled base.


 

 
Level the mixture and gently tap the whole pie to remove any air bubbles.
 

 
 

Chill the pie for 2-3 hours or overnight if you can. Before serving, remove the pie from the loose bottomed tin. Place a bowl under the loose base and gentle ease the rim off. I don't remove the remainder of the base, it makes it easier to move the pie to the table and for cutting.
 
 

 
 

Using a potato or vegetable peeler, pare the chocolate squares, creating chocolate shavings, sprinkle over the pie.






Related Reading
Food.com: Nigella Lawson's Grasshopper Pie Recipe
Delish Blog: More inspiration for this particular recipe, a fellow blogger and excellent photographer.
Cocktail:ukGrasshopper Cocktail recipe