The Frustrated Baker's Guide to Pie Crust
Aka: Bake your inner demons away!
This is always fun for me. Bwahaha.
Recipes for real people: Note: This contains eggs or egg substitutes.
When I was a kid, there was nothing I liked better than a good cheesecake (I actually think one of my first birthday cakes was a shared cheesecake that 3 year old me helped to cut---at least I had my hands on the handle, but my "adult supervisor" did the actual chopping.) I've had to revamp the crust, and I know that cracker types for this will change with allergies...for example, those who can tolerate no egg, ( I can handle whites) will not be able to use the Glutino crackers I use as a crust. This is also a good way to alleviate frustration. We all have the urge to crush things on occasion, No?
For these purposes, you will need:
A box of crackers- I use Glutino Original, a gluten-free, sort-of buttery cracker, kind of like a pale Ritz cracker. (And only a little bit communion wafer papery. It does not mess with the taste. These are also great with extra sharp cheddar, vegan "cheddar", E-Z Cheez, (I like to make smiley faces with spray cheese, like the dork I am, fruit, veggies, whatever those nutty Triscuit people say is so good on their little dry salty crackers).
These come in little vacuum sealed packets. I put half in my purse to carry with me, and use the other half. For more than two or three people, use both packets. There are approx. 60 crackers in a box. Place these in a large Ziplock freezer bag. Close tightly. Now, here's the fun... bash the hell out of it! (Feel better now?) until you have finely crushed cracker crumbs. Mix with butter- 1/2 cup... and sugar to taste, typically not more than 1/4 cup. (Stevia can be OK... it is twice as sweet as sugar, so use SPARINGLY and do not mix with anything citrus y.), press mixture into a spring-form pan, 9" in width. If you are making a 10" pie, then increase ingredient quantities by 25%.
Place prepped crust by itself into the oven for 10 mins on 350°F. Pull out and let cool. Now... the filling!
2 8-oz packets of Philly cream cheese, softened
Small tub of ricotta cheese or Farmer's Cheese, also softened. By small, about the size of a small container of "I Can't Believe The Noise My Arteries Are Making--- er, that It's Not Butter"
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (Note: Gluten free vanilla is not necessary---it's ALL Gluten Free.)
2 eggs, or equivalent amount of Egg Beaters or egg substitute as noted on containers. Generally, about 1/4 of a cup.
Your Prepped Crust
Mix cheese, sugar & vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed. Whip it, whip it good! - until WELL BLENDED. Add egg. Mix until blended. Pour into your crust. Bake cheesecake at 350°F for 40 minutes. Center should be a little jiggly, almost set, but not quite. Cool. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Roughly 8 servings. Unless you're feeding me, then please, make two pies, lol!
Next week, I'll give you my recipe for homemade graham crackers... they're lovely fresh out of the oven...and Oh, my lord... I love the S'mores!