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Nut Crusts


NeroW
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So I've tried it a hundred times--the proverbial nut crust for a cheesecake, or a savory "tartlet," or what-have-you.

I toast the nuts, grind them fine, and then add my melted butter in slowly until I have a nice sticky mass. I press them into the baking pan, blind-bake them, then fill them, then cross my fingers--

And it never works out! Perhaps I should post this to the "culinary nemesis" thread. They are either too soggy, or too hard, and they never come clean from the pan. They taste good, but they look like crap.

Tonight I'm making a cheesecake for a birthday party, and I'm going to make a nut crust. Repeat: I'm going to make a nut crust and it's going to work out.

What's the best method? Where have I gone wrong?

My name is Nero and I approve this message.

Noise is music. All else is food.

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I'm no expert but I thought you have to have some flour in your nut crust, how else is it going to hold together?

I recently made Fergus Henderson's Treacle tart with a very good nut crust (I think it was almond). This one had flour and I think one egg, I need to go back to the book to make sure though.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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i don't use any flour in my nut crusts. i think the issue may be with the amount of butter. you mention a "sticky mass", but in my experience that would be too wet. i would describe the texture as "damp sand". my loose proportions would be along the lines of 1 1/2 cups ground nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter. (it differs depending on the freshness/oiliness of the nuts, what the final product is, etc.)

hope that helps?

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I'm in the same boat as you Nero. Nuts, butter and sugar don't work for me. I think you need something else in there to bind. Theres all kinds of mixes you can do, but straight nuts are a pain. Also I find that they tend to soften up too much from the moisture in the product above it........so I can't even remember the last time I did a nut crust.

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Hi Wendy, didn't know you were just hanging out here :)

I've never had good luck with nut crusts where you have to bake them again after you blind bake them once. IMO nut crusts are only good after you blind bake them and dump in ganache or something and let it sit in the fridge.

To release cheesecakes, warm the bottoms gently. If this doesn't work it means your butter has gone somewhere else. :)

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I use a nut crust for cheesecakes often:

2# flour

3c nuts

8 oz sugar

1# 8oz butter- melted

1T kosher salt

Grind the nuts (I like a bit of texture- not too fine) with some of your sugar and flour in the robot coupe.

Mix everthing together and divide between seven 9 inch springform pans. Press in by hand.

Bake till golden (no resting needed)

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Here's a nut crust I've used and it's always been great

sugar 6 oz

butter 8 oz

egg yolks 3 ea.

flour (AP) 8 oz

cinnamon 2 t

cloves 1/2 t

ground nuts 6 oz ( I toast them before grinding )

lemon zest 1 t

Cream butter and sugar. Add yolks one at a time.

Mix together dry ingredients, then add to above.

Spray your pan, press dough in and blind bake

Good luckQ

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I've done macadamias with a bit of sugar in the past and most of the time they come out fine as long as I don't over process them in the food processor. They make a great crust for a recipe I found in an old cookbook from like the 1930's. The recipe just takes coffee with some sugar, add gelatin and chill 'til semi-set, then buzz a bit with the mixer and fold in whipped cream, turn in to crust and chill. I'll have to go dig out the recipe. Gevalia's mocha coffee makes it incredible. The old recipe called for Brazillian nuts which I couldn't find shelled years ago when I first did it, so I substituted with what ever the store had that sounded good. It worked for me.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Thanks for the input everyone. You all leave me with another question.........I've always had issues with crusts that didn't involve finely ground ingredients (like nuts or graham crackers) unless they had other ingredients to bind them. The issue being they don't pack together tight, so when I cut the crusts they break apart. I further grind purchased graham crackers crumbs, because they aren't fine enough to pack tight, so they don't cut well.

Can anyone address this, help me out? I must be zigging when I should zag........what am I doing wrong...........

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Yeah, I made it and the f***er didn't turn out. The custard was fine (never seem to run into any problems with those :huh: ) but the crust was gross. My companions liked it, but not me.

What I did was what I usually do (maybe that's my problem)--grind nuts, add melted butter (chezcherie, I go for the "damp sand" too, "sticky mass" wasn't really accurate), add a little sugar as suggested on this thread, press and bake. Gross, gross, grosssssss!

I bake at 350 and I even "temped" my oven to make sure all was well. I press the nuts in to a depth of about 1/4". Crust looks and smells fine when it comes out of the oven, but once it is filled, baked again, and rested overnight, it's sick. It crumbles all apart and doesn't even taste very good.

I will try it one more time (with one of the recipes on this thread) and then move onto a different sort of crust for my cheesecakes. Of course, I suck at crust period, but we'll see what happens :raz:

Noise is music. All else is food.

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why not bake the cheesecake "crustless" in a water bath and add the crust later, as a base? You could then ensure that the crust was not gross before adding it to the cheesecake- just unmold the cheesecake out on top of the crust.

or just do a cookie crumb crust. yum.

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It really sounds to me like you are over grinding your nuts. A few seconds too long in the food processor and you've got nut butter. You need to use the pulse setting when grinding nuts, and definitely err on the side of under grinding them. I'd add the sugar for the final pulse or two and mix the butter in by hand, as I think it may draw out the oils from the nuts.

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