Friday, August 3, 2012

The Muddy Mudskipper Pie

A new pie has evolved, and it was a long process, although in real evolutionary terms it was comparatively short. A small fraction of the Cenozoic.

Giving Intelligent Design credit to the Piemaker, with thanks/apologies to AndyCKH

It all started with the Peanut Butter Banana pie, which, as you may recall, I DID NOT WANT. It sounded kind of gross.

Well, the Piemaker made it anyway, a month or two ago. He has an extreme weakness for peanut butter, which sometimes causes him to act counter to his sense of self-preservation. Or maybe he has no sense of self- preservation. (Possibly a topic for another blog post.) At least he left the bananas out , because that would have been even more gross. The resulting pie had its good points, but it was just too peanut-buttery. It is just not ever going to be my favorite pie. You will not be surprised to learn that I did not take any photos of it. The major point in its favor was that the suffering I endured while eating it accumulated a substantial balance in my imaginary pie request bank. I figured after being forced to eat that much Peanut Butter pie, I was owed something really special.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, when the Piemaker asked if there was anything in the way of pies and cakes that would distract from my peculiar symptoms. The words “Grasshopper Pie” came out of my mouth, and I was as surprised as he was. I still don’t know where I heard of Grasshopper pie, whether it was one of my magazines, or a blog, or TV show, but we had to look it up to find out what it was. No, it was not one of my hallucinations. It is a chocolate mint pie! Yes, please!
from l to r, cream cheese-base recipe from Sees, marshmallow-base recipe from Simply Recipes, egg and gelatin-base from Amanda's Cookin'

I discovered that there are many possible types of Grasshopper Pie: custard, marshmallow, gelatin, or cream in a pie shell, or ice cream or cheesecake, among many others. How complicated! We decided on a condensed milk and whipped cream base since it seemed to have the fewest non-grasshopper components* to detract from the main flavor. Recipe here. Plus it involved buying all kinds of ingredients that were not presently in the pantry so the Piemaker had to get out of my hair go to the grocery store.

* Sorry, the recipe does not include any actual insects. It turns out that Grasshopper Pie is named after the Grasshopper cocktail, which is a traditional Louisiana concoction of green crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and fresh cream. The grasshoppers in Louisiana must be green, because they inspired the name of this drink. Arizona grasshoppers are brown, and so, like summer tomatoes and winter snow, we just have to believe in a green grasshopper.

I was very curious about the crème de cacao and the crème de menthe when the Piemaker brought them home. I learned something: green crème de menthe looks, smells, and tastes exactly like mint mouthwash. This was very surprising, and not in a good way.

The pies came together quickly, although I may have sabotaged the effort by asking to have two pies in regular pie dishes rather than one gigantic non-pie in the 9 x 13 pan called for in the recipe. (If you serve something in a 9 x 13 it doesn’t look like a pie, it looks like a lasagna or something.) Anyway the recipe makes enough filling for two round pies in smaller 8” pans but was the slightest bit short of filling our two 9” pie pans. Normally, wasted space in a pie is considered sacrilegious, but it all turned out okay in the end.

After freezing for six hours (which in our house only lasts for three hours due to a pie-time warp), the pie came out quite lovely with a brilliant green color. Unfortunately it was much too minty in the way that the peanut butter pie was too peanutty. We could not taste anything except mint, even though the crust was solid chocolate cookies and the filling had an equal amount of crème de cacao. The chocolate flavor completely disappeared.
The second pie, after major improvements
Okay, maybe it wasn’t all that bad. I did manage to eat almost the entire first pie. But the Piemaker decided to slather on a very thick layer of chocolate over the second pie (thus filling the empty space) and refreeze the whole thing before I could get my hands on it.

Now, it was a real chocolate mint pie! Finally there was a balance between the flavors. It didn’t look anything like a Grasshopper Pie, though. A dialogue arose:
Piemaker: Looks like a cross between Grasshopper Pie and Mississippi Mud Pie.
Katrina: Grasshoppers in the mud. So appetizing.
P: How about we call it Mississippi Mudhopper Pie?
K: Hey, that’s a good name! Oh, wait, I have an even better one. Remember Muddy Mudskipper? How about calling it the Muddy Mudskipper Pie?
P: Uh, yeah, sure. Much better.

The real Muddy Mudskipper
So the official name is now the Muddy Mudskipper Pie. 

Hooray for mudskippers and pies!



  1. I not a massive chocoholic except in combination with mint! That looks delicious. Well done Piemaker!

  2. Oh my goodness! I love the sounds of that "Grasshopper Pie". Good job Piemaker!