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soggy gingersnap/walnut cookie crust for pumpkin pie, could use suggestions for next time

addicted2cake Nov 16, 2011 09:34 AM

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I made a delicious pumpkin pie with a gingersnap cookie/walnut crust. To make the crust, I used 30 silver dollar sized gingersnaps (whole grain triple ginger cookies from Whole Foods), a handful of walnuts, processed them with 4 tbsps sugar and stirred in 2 oz melted Earth Balance spread. I sprayed some Pam on the inside of a 9 1/2 inch pie plate, then patted crust into plate on bottom and up the sides. Baked at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. I then let the crust cool for a couple hours before filling with pumpkin etc.and baked pie for about an hour. I love the filling, but the crust, while very tasty, is soggy. What could I have done differently? I would like my crust to be dry with a crispy cookie texture. Thanks for your help!

  1. todao Nov 16, 2011 12:25 PM

    Ginger snaps are extremely hygroscopic. Dip one into a cup of coffee and you'll see what I mean. It might help to saute the crumbs first in butter, but that may not get you where you want to go. Pumpkin "pie" is simply a custard baked in a crust. Not sure how it would work but, using your initial approach, preparing a pumpkin custard separately and, after cooling it, spooning it into your crust and spreading it then refrigerating it long enough for it to come together in the pie crust might be worth a try.

    3 Replies
    1. re: todao
      addicted2cake Nov 16, 2011 12:44 PM

      Thanks, todao. Your method sounds as if it should work. I know I've read recipes lately that call for cooking the custard separate from the crust. Time to look them up and try the pie again. I appreciate your help. :)

      1. re: addicted2cake
        todao Nov 16, 2011 08:27 PM

        You might also want to try whisking some egg whites (but not beating them beyond a foam) and brushing your crust with that before par-baking. The egg white cooked on the crust should help to reduce the infiltration of the pumpkin into the crust ingredients.
        I also agree with the suggestion of avoiding the Earth Balance as an ingredient and I would not spray the pie dish/pan with an aerosol lubricant like Pam. In both instances, use butter. I know it's not the healthiest ingredient but, for this relatively rare dining experience, I doubt that it will cause any real harm for most normal healthy people.

        1. re: todao
          addicted2cake Nov 17, 2011 06:15 AM

          OK, I'll nix the earth balance and not use Pam, but I can't use butter as we keep kosher and eat meat. Would spectrum spread shortening work instead of EB/butter??

    2. hotoynoodle Nov 16, 2011 04:09 PM

      you can also reverse the ratio and use mostly nuts with just a few cookies for flavor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle
        addicted2cake Nov 17, 2011 06:17 AM

        This would work well for husband and me as we love nuts - not so much for my son. Not a big nut lover. Sounds like a very good idea, though!

      2. chefj Nov 16, 2011 04:45 PM

        The amount of water in the Earth Balance spread may be the culprit. Is it relatively the same as the water content in butter?

        1 Reply
        1. re: chefj
          addicted2cake Nov 17, 2011 06:25 AM

          I really don't know about that, chefj. I've had very good success with Earth Balance in my baking, but you and todao might be right about not using it with this particular crust.

        2. Emme Nov 16, 2011 07:57 PM

          if you're amenable to a hint of cocoa flavor, you could brush the cooled base with melted cocoa butter and let set to provide a barrier of sorts. the same can be done with a thin layer of melted white chocolate or dark chocolate...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme
            addicted2cake Nov 17, 2011 06:26 AM

            I like this idea, Emme. Thanks for suggesting it!

          2. a
            addicted2cake Nov 20, 2011 10:39 AM

            Does anyone know if I should refrigerate the crust for 20 minutes or so to get it really chilled, then bake pie? This is instead of prebaking cookie crust, letting it cool, then baking pie in cooled shell. I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember) that this is a good method .Should I give this a try? Wondering what you think. Thanks again!

            2 Replies
            1. re: addicted2cake
              Emme Nov 20, 2011 08:33 PM

              i always refrigerate my crumb crusts before baking... i make crust first, shove it in the fridge, then make the filling... and i'm all set.

              1. re: Emme
                addicted2cake Nov 20, 2011 09:02 PM

                Thanks Emme for letting me know. I'm going to try this next pumpkin pie. :)

            2. jmcarthur8 Nov 20, 2011 10:47 AM

              The Earth Balance is probably the culprit. I have an oatmeal jam bar recipe that I have been making for many years. I figured out a long time ago that, now and then, when they came out soggy, those were the times I had used margarine instead of butter. That made all the difference.

              It's worth a try with the Spectrum spread - I took a look at their website, and they have a butter flavor shortening. That won't have the water in it that the margarine does.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmcarthur8
                addicted2cake Nov 20, 2011 11:47 AM

                Thanks very much. I'll check out the website.

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