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Stabilizing graham cracker crust

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Do any of you add anything other than graham crumbs, butter and sugar to your graham cracker crusts?  I am wondering what would be a good stabilizer for a crust that I want to bake off empty, and then remove from the tart pan and fill with ganache.  It will be topped with meringue for a smore-type plated dessert.

 

Any tips?

 

Liz

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post #2 of 18

make it flat not curved up on the edges maybe?

 

then you could press more crumbs onto the sides to give an illusion

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post #3 of 18
Only butter and sugar here - and then coat the sides of the finished product plain crumbs. Never gone up the sides, never needed to.

Sorry.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!  This was the look I was going for:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSiKHCLY5XiJF1-lnGkgiNEE2aceFLhEfy2jS-Z1vCPF4YaJIHhHQ

 

Seems like a pretty thick graham crust, but I am not sure how they keep them from crumbling. :)

 

Liz

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post #5 of 18

well, a wild guess--make rice krispie treats substituting graham crackers for the rk? keeps it in the s'mores family.

 

but how you wanna go eating graham cracker crust that thick either ;)

 

they do look cool

 

or

 

make them upside down  to pack it in then turn them out

 

idk

 

interesting though

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post #6 of 18
More sugar will carmelize and keep it from falling apart. I would increase your sugar and reduce the butter a little.
Plank.
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Oh, thank you both!  Yes, either more sugar to caramelize, or I may just add a couple of melted marshmallows to the graham crust before molding!  Great ideas!  I will give it a try this weekend and report back!

 

Liz

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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post
 

Do any of you add anything other than graham crumbs, butter and sugar to your graham cracker crusts?  I am wondering what would be a good stabilizer for a crust that I want to bake off empty, and then remove from the tart pan and fill with ganache.  It will be topped with meringue for a smore-type plated dessert.

 

Any tips?

 

Liz

Liz at sugar:  haven't baked empty, however I changed to using Nilla Wafers for my New York Cheesecake crusts years ago. Same recipe just exchanged GC for NW.

 

I also cheat sometimes and put chocolate oreo cookies or white oreo cookies in the cusinart with a little butter & sugar for a crust, without graham crackers.

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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just an update - I tried the marshmallow method today, and I didn't like the result.  It did make the crumbs more "plastic", but they were still hard to press into the tart pan. (Slid all over)   After baking, they were unedible.  Very hard, but I guess at least they didn't crumble!!

 

Instead I decided to make a pie crust subbing some of the flour for graham cracker crumbs.  Worked great!  I'll post a photo of my finished dessert tomorrow.

 

Liz

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post #10 of 18
Its maybe too late now but maybe you could put graham crackers into a tart dough recipee you like. ..maybe its possible to get the best of both worlds
post #11 of 18

Morganchampagne: There was a factory show on food tv and it showed one of the commercial cheesecake production lines (Harry & David or something like that).  They didn't use GC crumbs at all, but rather made a shortbread dough for the crust.  That must be like the tart dough you mention.

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post #12 of 18

I do that kind of thing all the time. You make the crust just like you'd normally do them. You don't need to make them that thick, that's too much in your photo. You blind bake the crust....nothing will go wrong if you've pressed your crust in well. The only "trick" is when you fill them don't get any filling between the crust and the pan. That will make the crust stick to the pan and break when you invert them. Let the filling settle in the pan for 5 or 6 hours, invert to remove the pans, than add your toppings/décor.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, I would call this recipe more of a shortbread than a pie dough - 2.5 sticks butter, 1/3 c brown sugar, 1/3 c. granulated sugar, and then I used 1.5 cups finely pulverized graham crackers, 1 cup flour, dash salt.  I found it in the Thanksgiving issue of Food and Wine magazine for making all your favorite pies into bars, so I made the all flour version for a Pumpkin Pie bar.

 

I had to remove them from my tart mold about 10 minutes out of the oven if I wanted to get them out - otherwise they became melded to the pan.  I'm not sure if I'll ever use straight crumbs again - it was much easier to mold lots of them with dough instead of crumbs.

 

Liz

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post #14 of 18

I make individual tarts all the time in little tart pans and never have a problem getting them out.  I spray the tart pan with Pam before putting in the crust and it comes out fine every time.  I do it like Stitches mentioned above.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, here is my first effort at L'Smores. A little sloppy, but I know where to improve. First I think I'll roll and cut my dough for the tart pans. Where it was too thick on the bottom, it got a little tough. Sides were great. Overbeat my meringue from soft peaks to stiff - would have been easier to pipe at soft peak (for the look of the original).

I use the nonstick Nordicware pans, and with so much butter, these slid right out warm. Not sure why they stuck when cool.

Thanks for all the tips!

Liz

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