Tag Archives: #desserts

Graham Cracker Crust

This is one of the easiest pie crusts to do, and you can always have children help with filling the pie pans. Just make sure to check it before putting it into the oven to make sure it isn’t too thick or uneven in spots.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl add the graham crackers, sugar, and salt, and stir. Drizzle the cooled melted butter over the crumbs and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan or eight 4-inch tart pans. Make the crust as thin and even as possible, pressing it down with a large spoon or measuring scoop.

Bake until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before filling.

Variations: swap out some of the graham crackers for crushed chocolate cookies, gingersnaps, or pretzels.

This is the perfect crust for my no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups whipped cream or 8 oz. (1 tub) Cool Whip, thawed
1) 9-inch or 8) 4-inch small graham cracker crust(s)
(You can find the graham cracker crust recipe here.)

Place the softened cream cheese and sugar into a large bowl and beat together on medium speed until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, salt, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese mixture and combine.

Fold in the whipped cream or thawed Cool Whip. Spoon into the pre-made graham cracker crust or tart shells, and refrigerate for two hours.

Top with cookie crumbs, whipped cream, or even a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Apple Persimmon Galette (rustic pie)

Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Filling
2 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Topping
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the vegetable shortening into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hand until the mixture is the texture of cornmeal. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ice water over the mixture and mix just until moistened. Repeat 6-8 times, using a tablespoon of water at a time. Do not overmix. The dough will be a little ragged and stiff.

Gently push the dough into a ball and place in a plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap. Put into the refrigerator and chill for an hour. It can be made the night before and used the next day.

Slice the apples and persimmons about 1/4 inch thick, and place in a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice added.

After an hour, preheat the oven to 375F, and take the pastry dough out of the refrigerator.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and roll out in a circle or rectangle (the choice is up to you) that is about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Transfer the flattened dough to a rimmed baking sheet. You can put a piece of parchment paper underneath the dough to help with cleanup later, if desired.

Drain the apples and persimmons well, and return to the bowl. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch or arrowroot powder, and mix well. Arrange the fruit on the dough, keeping an 1-1 1/2 inches from the edge. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top, and dot with the butter pieces.

Gently fold the pastry edge up to cover the edge of the apples and persimmons. If the edges break a little, dab the edges with cold water and press together. You do not want any holes on the sides or bottom for liquids to cook out. You can sprinkle the edge with sugar if you choose, but it isn’t necessary.

Bake 55-60 minutes until the crust is brown and crisp, and the apples are tender. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

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