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Thought for Food: Cookie Crumb Crust – Phoenix of Baked Goods

| November 19, 2012 | 0 Comments | Thought for Food

Pumpkin Mousse can be prepared with a graham cracker crust, which adds another dimension to the flavor of the dessert. (Photo Credit: Jason Shriner)

The Cookie Crumb Crust, The Phoenix of the Baked Goods- by the Aubergine Chef

As bakers, our job in the kitchen is to take a couple handfuls of ingredients and somehow use heat to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. But crumb crusts violate this tenet. We start off with a finished product, destroy it and ultimately end up with just a larger version of what we started with.

But the versatility of crumb crusts is what gives this recipe its strength. You can use just about any cracker or cookie you see in the grocery store aisle or in your cookbook. Crumb crusts are typically used to complement cream pies, but are also used for cheesecakes and other tarts.

The one pitfall with crumb crusts is that because each cookie is different, the recipe inherently changes with that cookie. Sometimes you’ll need less butter. Sometimes you’ll need to bake it longer. This recipe attempts to create a template for which all crumb crusts can be made, but you’ll need to provide the final touches.

Keep in mind the butter adds flavor and pliability to your crumbs – though too much butter and the crust will not stick together. The egg white helps the crust bond together once it is baked – but too much egg white, and it will become a soggy mess. When experimenting with the recipe aim for a drier crust – you can always add more butter or egg white, but it is impossible to take them back out.

Ingredients

1 Pie

2 Pies

3 Pies

Graham Cracker crumbs (vanilla wafer crumbs, or oreo crumbs)

6 ounces

11 ounces

1#

Melted Butter

2 ounces

3 ounces

5 ounces

Egg whites (optional)

¼ – 1 egg

1 egg

1 ½ – 2 eggs

Directions:

1. If necessary puree the cookies in a food processor until their turned to crumbs.

2.  Place the crumbs in a bowl, and add some of the butter.  Using your hands, mix until all crumbs are wet.  They should be damp and when squeezed should form a ball that holds its shape. It should not be wet and dripping, and it should not be dry.

3.  Egg whites will help make a stronger crust.  If using, add them and mix well. Your crumbs should not be dripping wet, so only add as much as necessary.

4.  Each pie should have about 7 ounces of crumbs. The 2 pie batch should be enough to line a 9” x 2” cake pan.

5.  Press the crumbs into a pie shell, making sure to create a flat and even layer on the bottom and along the sides. Press down firmly to ensure there are no loose areas.

6.  Bake the shells at 375 degrees F for about 5-8 minutes.

7.  Allow to cool completely on wire racks before using. Double check the firmness of the shell by touching it. The shell should feel like a solid cookie and should not crumble easily.

Add pie filling, and enjoy!

Written by Jason Shriner, the Aubergine Chef. Visit his website, www.theauberginechef.com for more recipes and baking video tutorials. 

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Thought for Food

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