MASTER CRUMB CRUST
Makes: Small recipe: 1 9-inch crust. Large recipe: 1 10-inch pie crust. OR: 11-inch tart shell
1 ¼ cups cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups cookie crumbs
2 to 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven shelf to the lower third of the oven. Butter pie or tart pan very well. Dust the pan with flour and shake out excess.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, then set aside to cool.
Place cookies in the bowl of food processor. If large cookies are used, break them into smaller pieces. Process until the cookies are finely chopped, then measure the crumbs in dry measuring cups.
Add the measured crumbs and sugar to the cooled butter, stirring around the saucepan with a fork to blend.
Empty the crumbs into the baking pan. Using a tablespoon, press firmly against the of the pan, working the crumbs up to the rim, forming a 1/4-inch thick edge. Smooth the bottom with a spoon.
Lay a square of plastic wrap over the crumbs. Using a batarde, or a glass with a smooth bottom, press firmly against the plastic to even the crumbs on the bottom. Also press firmly at the crease of the pan because the crumbs are always thicker there. Remove the plastic wrap.
Place the pie plate on a shallow pan, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until you smell the crust baking. The surface should feel set, but the bottom will not firm until the shell cools. Alternatively, instead of baking, the shell may be chilled in the refrigerator or freezer until firm.
Copyright @ 2002 by Carole Walter, CCP