Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Hoppin'" Mother's Day

Mom's are special and so I obviously wanted to make something special for my mom this Mother's Day.  You wouldn't believe the thought that I put into choosing a dessert for my mom.  I brainstormed her favorite flavors, thought about what I had made her in the past, thumbed through cookbooks, picked a recipe, changed my mind, picked another recipe, made a grocery list, picked a different recipe, scratched out the grocery list, made new one, then right before going to the store for ingredients, found the perfect recipe...and made a new grocery list.

Originally, I had decided to try to make a Sweet Lemon Tart for her from Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook.  It was relatively simple, used whole lemons, and the filling sounded tart and refreshing with an almond crust.  I had already gone to Williams-Sonoma to pick up a 9-inch tart pan...and microplane zester, just because, before I changed my mind on the tart. Still unsure, I pulled out my Pastry Queen cookbook by Rebecca Rather and looked through that. 
And there it was. Grasshopper Pie. Oreo cookie crumb crust with Creme de Menthe filling topped with hot fudge. Pefect. My mother's favorite girl scout cookie is Thin Mints and she loves York Peppermint patties.  Mint+Chocolate=happy mom. At first glance, the recipe seemed simple enough, little did I realize, it would actually be very, very time-consuming, but totally worth it.
I didn't have any of the ingredients it called for, except for butter (yay), so a trip to the grocery store was in order.  Only thing I forgot to pick up was a candy thermometer, but it worked out okay.  My local grocery store didn't have "Creme de Menthe" so I substituted Pure Mint Extract and added a little green food coloring.
You start by whipping the egg yolks with one whole egg. While those are whipping, you make a simple syrup with sugar and water and simmer it until it reaches a soft ball boil stage.  This is where a candy thermometer would have come in handy.  However, I've made caramel many times and just used the ice water method that I use for caramel and when the syrup rolls into a soft ball in the ice water, it's done. Voila!
Now, you carefully stream the simple syrup into the whipped eggs. Complicated much? Now add marshmallow fluff and mint and gelatin. And now, beat heavy whipping cream until it makes soft peaks and fold into mint mixture. Whew. Then the easiest step...put it into the crust and into the freezer.

All of these steps were totally worth the outcome.  The pie was creamy and delicious. The only change I would make, would be to either use a deeper pie crust or just make less crust. The crust was kind of thick and when it was frozen, very hard to cut with a knife and your fork.

I drizzled melted chocolate chips on top of mine for decoration then a dollop of hot fudge when serving. I made two pies. One for my mom and one for my boyfriend's mom.  Each mom equally enjoyed their pie.

The recipe is pretty long, but I found it online on google books, so you can try Grasshopper Pie yourself. Enjoy and I hope everyone had a very Happy Mother's Day!

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