For Cheesecakes and Pies
How you doin’? The end of the year is not only about apple and pumpkin pies… many of us love cheesecakes and frozen pies that don’t easily lend themselves to rolled out pastry crusts. As a Consumer Research Food & Restaurant Consultant, I suggest to our friends and clients that they might want to prepare a crushed crumb crust. The most recognizable is a graham cracker crust, most commonly used for cheesecakes.
These crushed crumb crusts are not only perfect for cheesecakes, but also key lime pies, cream pies, ice cream pies and frozen pies all of which call for tender crumb crusts made of crushed crackers, wafers or cookies instead of rolled pastry dough crusts to hold the fillings. Below are two of my favorites that work for a variety of fillings—Graham Cracker Crumb Crust and Salty Peanut-Pretzel Crumb Crust. Marry these two crusts up with your favorite filling. After baking, these two crusts also work well with any Instant Pot prepared pie.
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
1-1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 15 graham crackers)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
ChefSecret: Graham cracker is the standard, but you can use shortbread, chocolate cookies (Oreos), chocolate wafers, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps (I love ginger snaps), pretzels, cereal, or nuts, too—the basic method will stay the same.
Salty Peanut-Pretzel Crumb Crust
2 cups mini pretzels
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “I’ve had a lot of things to think about over the last 6 months. One is, if a speech impaired child signs swear words, does his mother have to wash his hands with soap?”
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