2 October 2013

Grasshopper Pies


Grasshopper pies originated in America from a drink known in the fifties as the 'Grasshopper'. Researching this reminded me very much of Stepford Wives and Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park, despite the fact that neither of them are actually set in the fifties. (Oh dear, so maybe my history needs brushing up.)

What I did with the Hummingbird recipe...
Hummingbird's recipe calls for double chocolate chip biscuits, but many recipes I have found online use oreos and given this is a very clearly an American dish I thought it was only fair. As for the suggestion that you can use a rolling pin to bash the biscuits; this is not the best idea if you are using mini pie or tart tins like I did, as the crumbs need to be fine enough to create an even layer.



Inkeeping with the spirit of the drink that we may thank for the existance of this pie, I swapped the peppermint essence for creme de menthe... Mainly because I thought I had peppermint essence and it turns out I didn't, but also the addition of alcohol just makes these pies just a little bit naughty. If you're cooking for kids, then perhaps stick to the peppermint essence as the alcohol isn't cooked off. (Hurrah I hear everyone say... I'm sure everyone will admit boozy puddings are far better).


I found that the recipe required a couple of tablespoons of creme de menthe (a few glugs) to achieve the correct flavour, so I was worried the mixture was too runny. In a panic I added some more marshmallows (I used mini white marshmallows, rather than big ones) which then didn't melt. I'm not too sure why the recipe calls for big marshmallows, but the mini ones work perfectly fine and I think they make the melting process quicker. I quite like the fact that there was little marshmallows poking out the top of the pies - I like to know what I'm eating, so this gives my tasters a clue as to what I'm feeding them. It's just like when you go on holiday to ice cream places with twenty flavours and they plonk a whole doughnut on top so you know exactly what flavour it is.



Aside from containing alcohol (which automatically makes baking exponentially more fun), making and eating this recipe was an exciting moment for me. I do not eat cream, as I have lactose intolerance and although I manage to conveniently ignore my intolerance with most diary products, cream does not fall in that 'most' category. Lactofree make cream that is suitable for whipping, pouring and cooking *squeals*. I've been meaning to find the ultimate recipe that requires cream for a while now, one that I would normally glaze over mournfully, to give me an excuse to try cream. From my extensive knowledge of cream (knowledge that includes having no memory/prior experience of even eating cream and limited cooking with it), the lactofree cream means 'buisness as normal' as it is still real dairy (just without the lactose, obviously).





When it comes to dessert I always like the idea of serving individual deserts. You can dish them away from the table, you can make them look pretty, no-one gets the bigger slice... plus anything in miniture makes me melt like a hormonal woman watching The Notebook. For this recipe I halved all the amounts and use 4 loose-bottomed tart tins.



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