No, I don't want to buy a crust.
October 18, 2007 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a pie crust that isn't insane.

OK, so I can now bake. I am now trying to make pies. Well, cheesecakes at the moment, but pie will be on the horizon. I followed this recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, and I followed the directions to make the crust with the following caveat - I crushed gingersnaps instead of using graham crackers, and because I was feeding someone with a nut allergy, I eliminated the pecans and subbed with more gingersnap dust. The crust, while not terrible, did not get crispy, and it wept butter all over the place. After refrigeration, the crust was still seeping butter, but of course now it was gooey. It didn't taste bad, but what did I do wrong? I want to make this thing for Thanksgiving and other gatherings this fall, but not with the weirdass gooey crust. Halp!
posted by Medieval Maven to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is there a reason you didn't use the graham crackers? 'Cause graham crackers and ginger snaps are completely different animals, and substitution is not going to work. (as i think you've discovered)

Rather than trying to substitute, I'd suggest trying to add some small amount of candied ginger to the graham cracker crust recipe.
posted by lekvar at 6:10 PM on October 18, 2007

You could try using a crust recipe that specifically asks for ginger snaps.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 6:15 PM on October 18, 2007

I didn't see any instruction to pre-bake the crust before adding the filling. I always do that--bake the crumb crust by itself at 350 for 15 minutes, then let it cool before adding the filling and baking that.

Also, that looks like kind of a lot of butter. Maybe reduce the amount by a couple tablespoons?

This is the graham cracker crust I use:

1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups crushed crackers
1/2 cups sugar (not brown sugar)
6 tablespoons melted butter

mix, press into pan, bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes, let cool.

I have substituted ginger snaps successfully (the cheap-o crispy kind that come in a bag). You can add whatever spice you want.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:16 PM on October 18, 2007

Response by poster: I failed to mention, unbelieveably enough as that post is so long, that this is at least the 2nd time this has occurred, and the first time I wasn't trying to be cute and use gingersnaps. It seems like I am missing whatever butter nirvana there is - not enough, and the crust won't stick together. Too much - goo. WTF is the sweet spot? And how do I tell?
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:18 PM on October 18, 2007

Best answer: That's way too much butter for a gingersnap crust. What has worked well for me in the past, in making any type of crumb-based crust, is to add the butter a little bit at a time until you reach the consistency you need. That consistency is invariably: "just barely holding together." I couldn't tell you exactly how much butter I use for a gingersnap crust, because I don't exactly measure it. I melt a bowlful and add a little bit at a time until it's right. I can tell you that I've never used an entire sticksworth.
Gingersnaps probably have just a skosh more fat in them that do graham crackers, so won't need as much butter. Keep trying! A gingersnap crust is a thing of beauty.
posted by Shohn at 6:19 PM on October 18, 2007

Best answer: Essentially, the sweet spot is when you've got just enough butter to hold it together pressed into the pan when you shake it, but not so much that it holds together if you turn it upside down -- it should be stable but not glued. The glue comes when it cooks.

Also, pre-bake the crust for 10-15 minutes before you add the topping and bake it. It makes a huge difference in eventual sogginess.

And just in case you're baking the cheesecake in a springform pan in a water bath -- and you should be -- wrap it in tinfoil, those things are never quite water tight.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:56 PM on October 18, 2007

Good advice here. Definitely prebake the crust (10 min should do it) and double or triple foil your springform if you're using a water bath.

Just remember that when you make the crust, you want the consistency to be like wet sand.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 10:22 PM on October 18, 2007

As a rule, you don't want to get creative with recipes when you're baking. Baking is an eldritch craft. Recipes (well, good ones) are very precisely tuned. My wife, who has worked as a chef, has made seemingly minor deviations from some baking recipes and had disappointing results.

Also, if you don't already have it, get this cookbook. Excellent pie-crust instructions, among other things.
posted by adamrice at 7:52 AM on October 19, 2007

« Older Help me figure out a good way to word my speech...   |   How can a moron begin working with motion graphics... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.