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graham cracker crust hardens

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Hi!

My graham cracker crust for a no-bake cheesecake tastes great but hardens up and breaks part when cutting into it. It's a standard recipe and I bake it before filling and refrigerating. Any suggestions/tips on how to prevent this? Can anyone explain why this might be happening?

Thanks!

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  1. Use more butter and less sugar? How are you making the crust?

    4 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks

      Butter is hard at refrigerator temperature, so if the crust is crumbling apart more butter might work but if it's more of a shatter into big chunks problem, I don't think more butter would help.

      1. re: babette feasts

        of course butter is hard at fridge temp, but a graham cracker crust is normally baked. the interaction between the butter and sugar as they melt and bake is what makes the crumbs stick together and the crust get hard. it's the sugar crystallization, and adding more butter will make the crumbs less likely to stick together and more likely to remain crumbly..

        1. re: janniecooks

          janniecooks, you're right. It makes sense that more sugar would make the crust more hard.

        2. re: babette feasts

          yes, it's a "shatter into big chunks" problem! not a crumbly problem!

      2. I always bake my crust first, also, because I like the crisper, browner taste. However, I knew a pastry chef who just threw the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of the pan alone, topped them with batter, and baked it. He was mystified by my "home cook" baking of the crumbs, sugar, and butter. Worth a try, I guess.

        If you still want to bake it, try using less sugar and not pressing down so hard on the crust before baking it. The batter will compress it enough for it to hold together when you eventually cut it. Good luck!

        1. Sometimes I don't bake the crust - just toss it all together (crumbs / butter / etc.) and press it into the pan. I think this keeps it softer...

          1. You don't need to bake a graham cracker crust (much less blind bake it before topping it with a no-bake filling).

            Seriously, graham crackers + butter + sugar = all edible unbaked.