Today is National Pi Day! Not pie with an “e”, but pi as in the mathematical number π… 3.141529… and on and on and on. I actually can’t believe that I remembered that much of the sequence… kudos to my high school math teachers! In the foodie world, March 14th is celebrated with, you guessed it… pie! We also happen to be on the doorstep of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so I thought I would merge the two occasions and bring you a pie fit for celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
Growing up, I thought that the best thing about going out to eat at Olive Garden was that Andes mints got strewn on the table along with the check at the end of the meal. I loved those little mint chocolate candies and would try to steal as many as I could. I’ve always loved the combination of smooth chocolate and refreshing mint, so it came as no surprise that I loved my first grasshopper cocktail when I tried it in college. I couldn’t let another St. Patrick’s Day go by without finally making a grasshopper pie!
There is a total infusion of chocolate and mint flavors in this pie, which begins with the crust. Instead of using a plain ol’ chocolate cookie crumb crust, Cool Mint Oreos are used for an even bigger pop of flavor. Add to that a healthy dose of crème de menthe and crème de cacao, and you have a perfectly balanced, fantastic-tasting pie. The texture of the filling is a cross between a meringue, a Jell-O dessert, and a cream pie. It’s smooth, creamy, light and airy. Not only does this make a great St. Patrick’s Day pie, but it would also be wonderfully refreshing during the summer, and festive enough for the holidays.
Whether you’re a foodie, a math fan, ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or just looking for an excuse to throw some liquor into into a pie… there’s really no good reason not to celebrate Pi Day!
Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and the melted butter in a medium bowl and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, forming a crust. Refrigerate the lined pie plate for 20 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until foamy, about 30 seconds. Stir together the gelatin, sugar, ½ cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into egg yolks. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it thickens to a wobbly consistency, about 20 minutes.
Beat the remaining 1½ cups heavy cream on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Gently whisk 1 cup of the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream and topped with chocolate curls, if desired.
The pie will keep in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
The alcohol in this pie has no way of cooking off, so keep that in mind if serving to children or anyone who can't have alcohol.
If you can't find Cool Mint Oreos, you can use regular or homemade Oreos for the crust.