Cheesecake Crust Help!
I have trouble making homemade crusts... I'd like to perfect this - and need some tips!
My last crust turned out too buttery (followed the directions - 8.5 oz of ground vanilla wafers to 10 T. melted butter. I pressed it in the Springform pan and baked as directed, but the sides fell and it was a bubbly mess. To recover, I ground up the rest of the vanilla wafers I had (about 2.5 more oz.), mixed it in with the already cooked but soggy crust, and that held up ok -but the end product was too dense for my liking (perhaps because it was double baked)?
I'm attempting the same recipe, and am thinking of cutting the butter and increasing the crumbs (the wafer container is 11 oz). Any thoughts... I'm afraid if I cut the butter too much, it will be too dry.
Also - any tips to not get so much crust in the corner? NO matter how hard I try to make the corners as thin as possible, my corners are never even and always big clumps of crust. (Practice? Practice? Practice?)
I've never used vanilla wafers to make a cheesecake crumb, only graham crackers and on a rare occasion chocolate wafers but reducing the butter makes little difference so you could probably do that. That is a lot of butter. I don't think it'll be dry, esp, w/ the cheesecake top. I use a glass (not rounded on the edges) to smooth out the crust. Just push it along the bottom and edge.
That does seem like a lot of butter. I made two crusts over the holidays, the first was 9 oz of crackers to 1/2 stick of butter and the second was 10 oz to 3/4 of a stick. I would definitely reduce the butter.
As for getting it smooth...my technique is to put all the crumbs in the middle and work my way out. Not sure if that helps, it may just be practice.
That does sound like rather a lot of butter-- I make cheesecake using an old family recipe, which has the following proportions for a crust that covers just the bottom of a 9" pan (not the sides). It's true that it's a bit crumbly, but not dry. (I sometimes use graham crackers or other crumbs)
2 Tbsp butter
1.5 cups fine zweiback crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
In any event, no matter what the recipe is, I totally second the hint of using a glass to press the crust into the pan!
That's definitely too much butter for the crust. I usually use two plastic packets of cinnamon graham crackers and two tablespoons of sugar. I melt half a stick of butter (4 tablespoons) and work it into the crumbs as needed. Sometimes the crust takes all of it, sometimes it takes about 3/4 of the butter.
The best way to spread it in the pan is to dump the crumb mixture in the middle and spread it out almost to the edge with your fingers. Then, with a flat bottom, rounded side dry measure cup press the crust down and up against the sides. I'm assuming you are using a round springform pan?
you mentioned that the end result was too dense, and i'm inclined to think it's simply because that's too much crust. most of the recipes i've seen call for 40 vanilla wafers to yield approximately 1-1/4 cups of crumbs. going by the standard Nabisco product, 40 wafers would be equivalent to a little more than 5 ounces (because one 8-wafer serving is equivalent to 30 grams, which is just slightly over one ounce). you stated that your recipe calls for 8.5 ounces - over 50% more than the typical recipe.
if i were you, i might try scaling back to the standard formula of 1-1/4 cups crumbs, which usually calls for 4 Tbsp of butter...maybe that will work out better for you.
but if you still want to use 8.5 ounces, you definitely have to cut back on the butter - the ratio is way off. by my rough calculations, you'd still only need about 7 Tbsp. butter - or approximately 1 Tbsp per 10 wafers.
does that make any sense, or did i confuse the heck out of you? anyway, i hope it works out next time!