From Scratch: Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie
Chocolate with mint is one my favorite combos, so it’s no surprise that a velvety grasshopper pie is right up my alley. To put a hot weather twist on this classic, I went the frozen route and made a mint ice cream with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and a chocolate cookie crust.
Since it’s summer, I wanted to incorporate fresh mint flavor into the ice cream and not depend on creme de menthe or peppermint extract. By steeping mint leaves in the milk, you can get a refreshing herbal minty flavor that tastes brighter than what you could get from extract alone. To serve this pie, allow it to sit out for about five minutes, then use a sharp knife dipped in lukewarm water. Be sure to keep dipping the knife so the cuts will be clean.
1 1/2 c chocolate wafers (about 40 cookies), processed until fine
6 tbs butter, melted
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 c half and half
1 c whole milk
1 c packed mint leaves
1/2 c sugar
5 egg yolks
8 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 c half and half
1/4 c creme de ementhe
1/4 c light creme de cacao
Dark chocolate for garnish (optional)
To make the crust process the cookies in a food processor until fine. Toss with the butter until well coated. Evenly press into a 9 in pie plate and bake in a 350 oven until set, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the ganache, warm the half and half in a small saucepan until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Pour over the chocolate, allow to sit for about a minute then stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour into the prepared pie crust, allow to cool for 15 minutes, then freeze.
To make the ice cream combine the whole milk, mint and salt in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Remove from the heat, cover and allow mint to steep for at least 45 minutes and no longer than an hour.
Put the white chocolate in a large bowl with a strainer positioned on top. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until light yellow. Rewarm the milk and mint until bubbles begin to form around the edge. Slowly add about a third of the warm milk to the yolks, whisking vigorously. Pour the yolks and milk back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a spoon (this takes about 15 minutes).
Strain the custard into the bowl with chocolate, pressing on the mint leaves to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard mint leaves. Stir until the white chocolate has melted then whisk in the half and half, creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Allow to chill thoroughly and then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Once frozen, transfer the ice cream to the pie crust and spread so that there’s a slight mound in the middle. Covered with plastic wrap, pressing down to prevent air pockets from forming, and freeze overnight.
Garnish with chocolate curls and serve.