The “Grasshopper Cocktail” from 1950 (1/3 creme de menthe, 1/3 creme de cacao, 1/3 cream) helped give birth to the “grasshopper pie.” The name comes from the green color, just like a grasshopper is green. An actually “grasshopper pie” of grasshoppers was cited in the New York (NY) Herald in 1856.
“Grasshopper pie” has been cited in print since at least March 1960, when the recipe called for creme de menthe, creme de cacao, milk, butter, whipping cream, marshmallows, and chocolate layer cookies. “Grasshopper ice cream” has been cited in print since at least 1963; when the ice cream is placed between two cookies or crackers, this becomes a “grasshopper ice cream sandwich.”
Grasshopper pie like the drink of the same name, this light, airy and rich pie is flavored with crème de menthe and white crème de cacao. The richness comes from whipped cream and the lightness from beaten egg whites. Grasshopper pie usually has a Graham cracker- or cookie-crumb crust. it must be refrigerated several hours to set, and is served chilled.
4 August 1856, New York (NY) Herald, “The Great Fremont Gathering in Dayton, Ohio,” pg. 3, col. 4:
Mule soup and grasshopper pie.
24 March 1960, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “Grasshopper Pie New Taste Treat,” pg. 13, cols. 2-3:
Looking for a unique taste delight? Try “Grasshopper Pie.”
It is not, despite the name, made with insects. The name is derived from the popular drink concoction of Cacao, mint and cream, called “The Grasshopper.”
“Grasshopper Pie” also combines the delicate rich Cacao flavor with fresh mint flavor and the richness of cream. Best of all, “Grasshopper Pie” is easy to make, is quickly prepared,and needs no baking.
18 Chocolate layer cookies
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 1/2 ounces Creme de Menthe (green)
1 1/2 ounces Creme de Cacao (white)
Crush cookies, combine with melted butter, pat into pie shell and chill. Melt mashmallows in heated milk, and permit to cool. Whip cream, combine with Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao; combine mashmallow-milk mixture with cream and liqueur mixture, pour into chilled crust, and chill entire pie. When chilled firm, “Grasshopper Pie” is ready to serve.
28 June 1960, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 17, col. 6:
Cool Dessert Needs No Baking
Grasshopper Pie—A treat to eat, and not what you think. The recipe is named after the Grasshopper Cocktail. This creation has the ingredients of the drink which combines green creme de menthe and white creme de cacao, in heavy cream with marshmallows. The chocolate crumb crust is compatible in flavor and adds a nut-like crunch. As this no-bake, easy to make dessert is prepared in advance and chilled it is a delight for summer evenings. The very name makes for party fun.
1 1/4 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20.2-inch wafers.
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
3 tablespoons greene creme de menthe
3 tablespoons white creme de cacao.
Combine chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press onto sides and bottom of 9-inch pie plate. Chill. Heat milk in top of double boiler over boiling water. Add marshmallows; stir until melted. Cool thoroughly. Combine whipped cream, creme de menthe and creme de cacao; fold in cooled marshmallow mixture. Pour filling into chilled crumb crust. Chill until firm. Yield: one, 9-inch pie.
9 May 1963, New York (NY) Times, “New Menus and Recipes Suggested for Weekend,” pg. 43:
1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Mix the chocolate crumbs, sugar and butter. Press the mixture against the bottom and sides of a nine-inch pie plate. Bake five minutes and chill.
1 envelope gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup green creme de menthe
2 tablespoons cognac or creme de cacao
1 cup heavy cream, whipped.
1. Combine in the top of a double boiler the gelatin, half the sugar and salt. Stir in the water and blend in the egg yolks, one at a time. Place the mixture over boiling water, stirring constantly until gelatin is dissolved and mixture thickens slightly, four to five minutes.
2. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the creme de menthe and cognac. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture has a consistency resembling unbeaten egg white.
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then gradually stir in remaining sugar. Continue beating until whites are very stiff. Fold them into the gelatin mixture. Fold in the whipped cream and turn mixture into chocolate crumb shell. Chill until firm and garnish. If desired, with additional whipped cream. Yield: One nine-inch pie.
8 November 1963, Sheboygan (WI) Press, pg. 2, col. 7 ad:
Grasshopper Ice Cream
6 January 1966, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “5 Epicurean Flavors Offered for Home Use,” pg. 8E, col. 2:
Mint green Grasshopper Ice Cream is flavored with creme de cacao, vanilla extract, caramel, and oil of peppermint.
American Century Cookbook:
The Most Popular Recipes fo the 20th Century
By Jean Anderson
New York, NY: Clarkson Potter
Food historians and primary evidence place the genesis of this American pie in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Chiffon pies were very popular at that time. The “grasshopper” name is borrowed from a popular green-colored cocktail, also *invented* about this time. There is speculation this recipe was invented by food/drink companies to promote their products. It is quite likely, although we cannot verify in print. This is what the food historians have to say: “I suspect—but cannot verify—that [Grasshopper Pie] recipes descend from one that appeared in High Spirited Desserts, a recipe flier publsihed jointly by Knox Unflavored Gelatine and Heublein Cordials. It begins “Dinner guests sometimes click their heels with glee over a superb dessert.” Then it goes on to urge the reader to be “devil-may-care. Knox Unflavored Gelatine provides a variety of handsome and delectable dishes. Heublein Cordials provide the spirits that give each sweet masterpiece inimitable flavor. Serve with pride. Await applause modestly.” Unfortunately, there’s no date on the leaflet. Given its yellowing state, however, its purple prose, and whimsical Jester illustrations, I suspect that it belongs to the late 50s or, possible, the early 60s.”
27 July 2005, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “Let’s Eat: A Month of Sundaes” by Cleora Hughes:
Vanilla ice cream, green creme de menthe liqueur, Andes mints
Jun 11, 2013 4:01 pm
Grasshopper Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
Chocolate cookies and mint chip ice cream. Mmmm.
By Tessa Arias
Servings: 9 ice cream sandwiches
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 to 5 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips