Confessions of an Underage Baker

I confess that yesterday morning I briefly considered stealing from our local Safeway. No, I’m not a criminal mastermind, and yes, I probably would have given myself away before I had even touched a thing, but I seriously considered it for all of one minute. Why? Grasshopper pie.

It turns out that because I am not (yet) 21, I couldn’t buy crème de menthe or white crème de cacao, two ESSENTIAL ingredients for Mrs. Rowe’s Grasshopper Pie. What to do, what to do? Instead of stealing from Safeway’s alcohol section, I turned to my trusty friend, the Internet.

A recipe for “Baptist Grasshopper Pie” saved me. It turns out that you can substitute 1/4 cup of crème de menthe with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Hallelujah!

Feeling slightly guilty (after all, without crème de menthe, it’s just not the same…not that I would know what it tastes like with the real thing anyway) I grabbed the peppermint extract and got to work.

Making cookie crusts is one of my all-time favorite things, but chocolate cookie crust has always made me a little uneasy. Why? Well, the last time I made a chocolate cookie crust, I stuck the cookies in the blender to crumble them, except I forgot to take out the metal spoon. Yeah. It sounded like a thousand sledge hammers pounding at once, and neither the spoon nor the blender were quite the same after that.

Since the memory of the Spoon-In-Blender Incident was still a little too fresh for me, I skipped the blender this time and crushed the cookies with a rolling pin. Messy, but effective. That’s right, no spoons were harmed in the making of this pie!

I pressed the chocolate cookie/butter mixture into the pie pan, and got started on the filling. One problem: the recipe called for 24 large marshmallows, and we only had 19, along with a dizzying amount of mini marshmallows. Though my math skills were a little rusty, I got out my graphing calculator (because everyone knows math is easier when you have a gigantic calculator to calculate simple equations), and came up with this (if you think math is boring, skip the blue parts):

Volume of a cylinder* (assuming marshmallows are cylinders): πr2h

V mini marshmallow= π(.5cm)2(1.1cm)= .864cm3

V large marshmallow= π(1.25cm)2(3cm)=14.726cm3

14.726cm3/.864cm3= about 17 mini marshmallows per 1 large marshmallow

*Ok, ok, I Googled it. And math nerds, feel free to double check my calculations, I know you want to.

I actually counted out 17 mini marshmallows for the first few times before I gave up and started guesstimating the rest. However, it gave me some satisfaction to know that I did in fact know how many mini marshmallows were in one large marshmallow.

Haven’t you always wondered how many mini marshmallows fit in one large marshmallow? Now you know. You’re welcome.

Anyway.

After heating the milk and melting the marshmallows, I added some green food coloring, just so the pie would look like it had crème de menthe in it, even though it was only peppermint extract. Sigh.

It turned out that the marshmallows had browned at the bottom of the sauce pan, and so there were little pieces of brown in my otherwise beautifully green mixture. I tried to fish the pesky little pieces out, but it was nearly impossible, so I decided to just let them be happy and stay in my pie. And just for the record, you couldn’t even see them in the final product. Hooray!

grasshopper3grasshopper2

Took a while to get a good slice, but here it is!
Took a while to get a good slice, but here it is!

All in all, the pie went rather well, and hopefully my math skills have improved slightly. Only a week left until I head back to school, and I’m thinking it would be a good time to make peach pie before peach season ends. No promises, but that’s just a little teaser for y’all.

Until next time,

Megan

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