Friday, August 23, 2013

Problem Solved!

Tired of being disappointed by graham cracker crusts?  Me, too!  For a cook, it is extremely frustrating to make a pie for a special occasion, only to have the crust become soggy or fall apart upon cutting and serving.

These problems have kept me away from cookie crumb crusts for years.  The solution turned out to be quite simple, even though it evaded me far longer than I’d care to admit.  The answer presented itself a few months ago while I was doing research.  Since then, I’ve made this crust quire a few times.  Not once has it become soggy or fallen apart on cutting and serving. 

This crust takes a little more time to make, but it is worth the effort.  It is very stable, has a very nice texture, and tastes great.  I am happy to declare this problem solved.  Enjoy!

Notes for this recipe: A blender may be used in place of a food processor.  Vanilla or chocolate cookie crumbs may be substituted for graham crackers.

Baked Graham Cracker Crust
Makes one 9 inch or 9-1/2 inch deep dish pie crust

6 oz. graham crackers (11 crackers)
8 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Select a 9 inch or 9-1/2 inch deep dish heat-proof pie plate and keep it handy.

In a food processor fitted with the steel “S” blade process the crackers until they are fine crumbs.

Measure out 1-1/2 cups crumbs and replace in the work bowl.  With the processor running, drizzle in the melted butter, then the lightly beaten egg white.  Pulse until combined. 

Scrape crumbs into the selected pie plate.  Press crumbs evenly across bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.   

When crumbs are pressed into place tamp the top edge to create an even finish to the crust. 

Place pie plate in oven and bake until butter is re-absorbed and the crust is lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack.  If the crust “puffs up” (develops air pockets) gently pierce with the tip of a small, sharp knife to release the air.  Cool completely. 

The crust can be made one day ahead.  Place cooled crust in an airtight plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.