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Cheesecake: All About The Crust

Posted by Gwen Watson on Aug 27, 2014

Cheesecake: All About The Crust

When you think of cheesecake, what first comes to mind? Is it the smooth, sweet, and velvety taste of the cheesecake filling? Or is it of the buttery, crumbly crust that is supporting the cheesecake underneath? For many it's both! A variety of cheesecakes come with different types of crusts. While many believe that a cheesecake is only a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, this isn’t always the case.

Here are some different style crusts and ideas for making your own unique, customized cheesecake:

Traditional New York Style Cheesecake
Although there are many cheesecakes out there that are New York style with graham cracker crusts, the traditional crust of a New York Style cheesecake is actually a short dough crust made from scratch. The crust is usually prepared with a mixture of sugar, butter, eggs, and flour. It isn’t too sweet, but serves as a base to showcase the delicate flavors of the cheesecake itself.

Graham Cracker Crust
As opposed to a traditional crust, many cheesecakes are made with a graham cracker crust. Graham crackers get their unique flavor from graham flour which is made by separating the wheat kernel, milling, and the combining back together. This gives the graham flour a coarse texture and flavor. Graham crackers traditionally have honey added to them giving them additional sweetness. Most graham cracker cheesecake crusts are made by crushing graham crackers and adding melted butter and sometimes sugar. A graham cracker crust gives a piece a cheesecake a sweet crunch, especially at the end of the piece of cake.

Much like a graham cracker crust you can crush other types of cookies to create a unique cheesecake crust. For example a cookies and cream cheesecake may have a crust that is made from crushed chocolate sandwich cream cookies. Or a pumpkin cheesecake may have a crust from ground gingersnaps. If you can crumble it, you can turn it into a cheesecake crust.

Other Pastries
Besides cookies, you may sometimes find a cheesecake with a crust made up of other pastries. In a tiramisu cheesecake, ladyfingers soaked in coffee are often the base of the cake. You could try a brownie crust or even a red velvet cake crust. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Looking for something a little more savory? Nuts provide a different alternative to graham or cookie crusts. Ground up almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, or even peanuts can make for an interesting crust. Try combining a few different variations. Go even one step further and mix nuts with honey for a Baklava inspired cheesecake.

Cheesecake doesn’t have to be limited to traditional recipes. You can always play around with different ingredients to make a unique crust of your own.

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