Monday, June 13, 2011

Grasshopper Pie & Rhubarb Pie: Pies for Peace

Sometimes, when it seems the whole world is sliding into a cesspit, JJ, Heather and I declare Pies for Peace. Basically, this means we get together and bake pie after pie after pie. Somehow, filling the kitchen with yummy smells makes the world at large seem a bit more cheerful and manageable.

Pies for Peace shouldn't be confused with Piepocalypse, our yearly Thanksgiving glut of pie. One is all about peace and the other is all about topping last year's number & variety.

Like any self-respecting church cookbook, Presbyterian Palate Pleasers has a lot of pie recipes. Today, we'll look at two of them: Grasshopper and Rhubarb.

Grasshopper Pie

16 Oreo cookies (crushed)
3 Tbsp. melted butter

Mix and press into a pie pan.

24 marshmallows
3/4 c. milk
2 oz. creme de menthe
1 drop green food coloring
1 oz. creme de cacao
1 c. whipped cream

Melt marshmallows in double boiler. Add milk, blend and cool. Add creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Fold in whipped cream; add food coloring. Pour into cookie crust and chill.

Ann Bean

How much do I love grasshopper pie? It was one of my favorites growing up -- the other was coconut impossible pie, which I should really dig up and post here, because...yum. Anyway, I am not quite sure how such a boozy pie became the favorite of a wee child. I suppose it's possible my mom used mint extract and chocolate syrup or some such, but really, I doubt it.

This is one of the easier grasshopper pie recipes you'll see out there. No fiddling about with gelatin, no whipped egg whites. One thing to note: It's 24 big marshmallows, not mini. I advise you to toss the double boiler; you can melt the marshmallows in the microwave. "Less fussy" is usually the way to go.

For the ultimate in reduced fussiness, you could always buy your chocolate crumb crust pre-made. Your pie will lack a certain rustic beauty, though, and you'll miss out on the fabulous catharsis one can find when bashing Oreos into dust.

Rhubarb Pie

3 large c. rhubarb
1 egg
1-1/2 c. sugar
Butter size of walnut

Pour boiling water over rhubarb and let stand 5 minutes; drain. Mix all ingredients well and fill unbaked crust. Dust with flour and put on top crust. Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes.

Mrs. George S. Lehner

(Mrs. Lehner and her husband owned and operated the Dagmar Hotel for years.)

Go, Mrs. Lehner! Here's her hotel:

Hagerstown Dagmar Hotel
Dagmar Hotel, Hagerstown, MD,
by Mr. T in DC, under Creative Commons license.

The Dagmar Hotel was also the headquarters of the M.P Moller Motor Car Company for a good stretch of time. They made custom cars (called Dagmars, naturally).

Now, I dig that cooks of yore often assumed you knew without being told that you'd need crust for a double crust pie, and that you would know how to make it. I know how to make a really good pie crust.

Confession time: I usually just buy the Pillsbury crust from the refrigerator case. What can I say? It's not as good as homemade, but it's only marginally less good, and it's so fricking easy. So, you can do as I do, and there's no judgement coming at you from this corner. You can rustic it up with your crimping technique, or by being less than anal with straight lines for your lattice strips.

Never done a lattice crust? Don't fret -- it's easy, and there are lots of tutorials on how to make a lattice crust out there.

I will insist upon you having a lattice crust. It's rhubarb pie. I can't imagine a rhubarb pie without a lattice crust. Save your regular top crust for your apple pies, your blackberry pies, your peach pies. Go lattice for rhubarb.

Three cups of rhubarb is about one pound, for what it's worth. Yes, you could buy a pound of chunked up frozen rhubarb -- if you do, thaw it before using -- but it's still rhubarb season. Go buy a pound.


  1. I think of Grandpa whenever I encounter mention of rhubarb pie.

  2. Best pie of all time. My grandmother's recipe is lost, but all I find include egg, which I know for certain has never been in a rhubarb pie I've made. And no lattice crust either. It's a solid top with the letter R cut in for venting.