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For Chocolate Lovers only  

Frozen Grasshopper Pie

Tips: There’s a cocktail called a “Grasshopper” which is equal parts green crème de menthe and white crème de cacao; this is a frozen interpretation of that. You’ll mix mint chocolate chip ice cream with these liqueurs (and perhaps a little green food coloring), then mound the mixture into a chocolate wafer crust and freeze it. Despite the fact that you use both mint ice cream and mint liqueur, the mint flavor here does not overwhelm. Also, as the amount of alcohol in the pie is minimal, I’d have little hesitation in serving this to kids, though perhaps not the very young set. The food coloring is optional; I’ve made the pie both with and without it, but I like the slightly deeper green I get from using it. Green crème de menthe is rather an intense shade, but the filling does not end up being bright green, providing you start with a non-green mint chip ice cream, of course!

The step involving lining the pie plate with foil (which is later peeled from the completed, frozen crust) is optional, but it makes serving the pie a snap. This pie will keep in the freezer, well-wrapped, for at least a week.

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

    Crust:
  • About 6 ounces chocolate wafers, to make 1-1/2 lightly packed cups of crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

    Filling:
  • 2 Tbsp. green crème de menthe
  • 2 Tbsp. white crème de cacao
  • 3 pints mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • Optional: About 6 drops green food coloring

    For serving:
  • Good-quality chocolate syrup OR slightly warmed hot fudge sauce
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Mint leaves

Method:
Make the crust first. Tear off a piece of regular-weight aluminum foil about 1 foot square. Fit it as smoothly as possible, shiny side up, into a 9-inch heatproof glass pie plate, folding the excess over the outer rim (where there is a great deal of extra foil, as there will be on the corners of the square, you can cut some off). Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In medium bowl, combine chocolate wafer crumbs and sugar. With spoon, mix well to combine. Add melted butter; stir until thoroughly blended. Use about 2/3 of crust mixture for the sides of the crust, forming a high rim slightly above the edges of the pie plate and using your fingers or the back of a teaspoon for assistance. Use the remaining crust mixture for the bottom of the crust, compacting it evenly on the bottom of the foil-lined pie plate. Try not to have the crust too thick where the bottom and sides meet.

Bake crust in preheated oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or just until set. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before placing in freezer to freeze solid, at least 45 minutes. Once crust is frozen solid, remove from freezer. Gently loosen foil overhang from sides of pieplate. Using the foil as a handle, carefully pick up the crust, still in the foil, and support it on the palm of one hand. Working carefully, gently peel the foil from the crust, one small area at a time. You’ll probably lose a few crumbs from the top rim of the crust during this process---that’s OK. Once all of foil is peeled from crust, carefully return crust to pie plate and replace in freezer. If you won’t be using the crust until later, gently wrap it in a large, self-sealing plastic bag. Otherwise, replace the crust in the freezer without wrapping it, then proceed with the filling.

To make the filling, combine both liqueurs in a small cup; set aside at room temperature. Slightly soften the ice cream (I do this in the microwave, by removing the lid and liner from the container(s), then microwaving each at 50% (medium) power just for 8 to 10 seconds (time may vary depending upon the power of your microwave). If the ice cream is still very hard, microwave at 50% (medium) power for just a few seconds more, but don’t overdo it! The ice cream should just be slightly softened, not melted). Place softened ice cream by large spoonfuls in metal bowl of three or four quart capacity. Add liqueurs and optional food coloring. Working quickly, mix well with large metal spoon until mixture is of an even color.

Remove crust from freezer (if necessary, remove wrapping from crust). Pile filling into crust, mounding it high in the center. Return to freezer; freeze for at least 8 hours. Cover tightly with plastic wrap after 4 hours or so.

To serve:
Have as many dessert plates (preferably dessert plates with a center “well”) and forks as necessary at hand. Drizzle chocolate syrup or slightly warmed hot fudge sauce sparingly on each plate. To cut, you’ll need a very sharp, large knife. It’s likely that the first slice won’t come out of the pie perfectly, but be patient; the pie should slice well after that. Carefully transfer individual slices onto each plate, then replace pie in freezer. Drizzle more chocolate syrup or sauce sparingly over each slice, then garnish with on top or to one side with lightly sweetened whipped cream, sticking a mint leaf or sprig into the whipped cream. Allow to stand about 2 minutes before eating.

 

©Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

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  • ...Published: July 2005
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