graham cracker crust question
I made a pumpkin pie yesterday with a graham cracker crust. I prebaked the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then let it cool for about an hour before filling with pumpkin custard. Filling is good, but crust is not pleasantly crisp. Not soggy, just tastes a bit raw, as if it didn't bake long enough. I've read that brushing an egg white onto a graham cracker crust will keep it from getting soggy, but I haven't been able to get specific instructions as to when to brush on the egg white. Do you brush on white before you pop crust into the oven to prebake or do you do this after the crust has prebaked? If doing the latter, should the crust cool for a bit and if so, for how long, or can you just brush on the egg white immediately after crust comes out of the oven? Then, what do you do with the crust so that egg white hardens.....rebake (how long), refrigerate (also,how long)? Thanks for your help. I am disappointed my crust is so "eh."
A graham cracker crust won't get super-crisp, per se, but it should be firm & relatively dry, not soggy or gummy. The Earth Balance spread in the tub (not the stick) contains water. If that's what you used, you need to bake it longer to evaporate the excess moisture - that's one of the reasons it still seemed "raw" to you.
The other issue is your measurements and proportions. You're better off going by volume of crushed crumbs as opposed to number of sheets, because sizes vary by brand (and tend to change over the years).
So, try measuring out the crushed crumbs and use a ratio of about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs to 5 Tbsp butter or Earth Balance *stick* spread; you can also use coconut oil.
Sugar is really a matter of personal preference. I'd suggest 1/4 - 1/3 cup depending on how sweet you want it. You can use brown sugar instead of white if you prefer the flavor, but the flavor of brown sugar is more intense and its higher in moisture, so use a bit less of it than you would white sugar.
Don't forget to *add a pinch of salt* to boost the flavor, and you can also enhance it with a little ground cinnamon or ginger (1/8 - 1/4 tsp).
Press the crust into the pan and bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 7 minutes until crust becomes relatively firm, but not brown. Remove from oven, brush with beaten egg or egg white, and bake for an additional 3 minutes until golden and relatively dry. Cool before filling.
I agree that the additional water and lack of fat are problematic, and that GC crusts aren't crisp, but I do not understand how they can have a "raw" taste. None of the ingredients you used are raw.
You might get more expert responses if you posted this on the Vegetarian/Vegan Board.