Sunday, March 12, 2017

No Grasshoppers Were Harmed in the Making of This Pie

The week of Saint Patrick's Day is nearly upon us. And while you're foggily scratching your head today and wondering to yourself, "Did my phone clock really update last night, or am I completely unaware of the actual time?" thanks to Daylight Savings Time, don't forget later that along with copious amounts of green beer go copious amounts of green desserts. Luckily, I've constructed a dessert that takes only ten minutes of your time, and it is so easy to throw together I have full confidence you could do so after your fifth Guinness with little to no issues. I've basically drunk-proofed this recipe in a sense that you can't really screw it up and no heavy machinery is required. It does, however, contain a massive amount of booze within it, so just remind yourself that drinking straight creme de menthe is like downing a shot of mint Scope. It doesn't sound like a bad idea in theory because everyone likes minty fresh breath, but remember--straight alcohol, much like mouthwash, tends to burn just a smidgen. I'm not sure I've ever had to preface a blog with a warning before, but there's a first time for everything. Like for instance, I've never tried a grasshopper cocktail, and now that I've figured out how to turn it into a pie, I probably don't need to. Chock-full of chocolate, Andes mints, and creme de menthe, I fail to see how the beverage could come anywhere as close to satisfying my taste buds as this low cal, boozy grasshopper pie can. To put it bluntly, this pie...sham-rocks. I'm sorry. I even hate myself a little for that pun, but you'll forgive me when you make this pie yourself and see how accurate that terrible pun really is.
Another brief warning...this pie will get you drunk.
Fun fact! I quit drinking for Lent last year, and I was amazed by how much better I felt and looked after only 40 days. I won't bore you with a soapbox speech, but I only allow one glass of wine a week in my diet now. For whatever reason, I never feel bad about baking with booze because it usually does such a nice job of enhancing the flavoring of the rest of the ingredients. If you don't believe me, try making a chocolate cake with Guinness instead of milk and get back to me. But since I no longer drink on a regular basis, I have the alcohol tolerance of a very small house cat. I didn't think I put that much creme de menthe in the pie, but a few minutes after I ate it, I was feeling rather euphoric. So it's either just that good of a mint chocolate pie, or it's just that boozy that I would not recommend letting your small house cat near it. And even though creme de menthe is absolutely terrible for you, I made a ton of other calorie cuts so that one slice of this pie will only run you 264 calories. That's right, you can have pie, Guinness, and your fish and chips this Friday. A Saint Patrick's Day miracle! Well, considering this holiday began as a religious feast, most of us Catholics would just call this a typical Lenten Friday, but instead of surviving off grilled cheese or tuna, we go big with fried cod. Save the Filet 'o Fish for a week when the sight of peanut butter and jelly makes you break down in tears.
It really is easy as pie.
I know..premade crust is not typically my thing. But low fat chocolate Graham Crackers are, to my knowledge, not a thing, so there was practically no difference between a homemade crust and an Oreo crust in the calorie arena. Plus, I told you this could be done in under ten minutes, and that isn't possible with homemade crusts. Just try your best when taking photos of your pie to keep the aluminum edges of the pie tin hidden, and no one has to know! To make your very own drunken grasshopper pie, gather:
  • 1 Oreo pie crust
  • 1 package of sugar-free vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1/2 cup of creme de menthe
  • 1/4 tsp pure mint extract
  • 2 cups of Cool Whip Free, divided
  • 15 Andes mints, smashed into pieces
  • Optional: 2-3 drops green food coloring, additional Andes mints for topping
I've spent more effort into putting on shoes than it did to make this pie.
 Start by mixing the booze, milk, and pudding into a large bowl for 2 minutes with a whisk. Your biceps will appreciate the small workout. Then, add 1 1/2 cups of the Cool Whip, the crushed Andes mints, and 2-3 drops green food coloring. Mix together, and then see if the pie is minty enough for you. I wanted to be smacked in the mouth with wintergreen freshness, so I added an additional 1/4 tsp of pure mint extract. Much like time spent around other people's children, a little goes a long way, so increase the amount of extract you want in small increments until it meets your taste preferences.
And come up with a list of possibilities on how to kill a bottle of creme de menthe. I think boozy Shamrock Shakes are in our future.
Once mixed and minty enough, dump your pie filling into the Oreo crust and smooth out. Place into the freezer for at least two hours to set. I left mine in the freezer overnight, and it sliced through perfectly:
Like buttah.
Once your pie is cut, serve your slices and let them thaw out for about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with the remaining Cool Whip Free (I used a 1M tip and simple swirl technique), and if you're feeling fancy, stick another Andes mint on top. If you're feeling super extra fancy, drizzle some low cal chocolate sauce on top.
I mean, it does make for great presentation.
I loved this pie cold, like my heart or a pint of Killian's Irish Red, and it certainly didn't disappoint in the taste department. The Andes mints were a great way to add both texture and additional mint flavor that most grasshopper pie recipes are missing. By nixing the traditional marshmallow creme for pudding mix and skim milk, you can add in the creme de menthe with minimal guilt concerning your waistline. It's basically the perfect pie, and your Saint Patrick's Day festivities would be woefully incomplete without a slice! I recommend leaving in the freezer until it's time to serve it, but if you like a softer consistency of pie, leaving it in the fridge would be fine. Just don't leave it out on the counter (especially near small house cats, for obvious aforementioned reasons) so it won't turn into a mushy puddle of minty booze pudding...although honestly, that still sounds delicious, and I'm pretty sure that's not just the pie's creme de menthe talking. But enjoy the joyous festivities this week, wear green so strangers don't try to pinch you (why this is an acceptable thing I do not know), and embrace the camaraderie Saint Patrick's Day always brings out in people. 'Til next time my fellow eaters, and slainte!
I'm sure this pie would go great with some Jameson, if you're into that sort of thing.

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