Cheescake, how to avoid very hard crust edge?

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by shelzmike, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. shelzmike

    shelzmike New Member

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    Couldn't think of a great title to explain this problem I have. I am in no way an expert in this arena, but do enjoy cooking/baking, etc. when I can do it.

    Over the years, I have developed a great cheesecake recipe that everyone in the family insists I make every Christmas. Being a lover of cheesecake, I have no problem obliging!

    For the most part, I have the recipe and process down pat, but there has been one thing that has always bothered me (no one complains ever, but I notice!) that I have been unable to fix.

    For the crust, I use regular grahams, processed into crumbs. I combine this with real butter and press it into a springform pan. It tastes great and holds together well. However, the problem is in the bottom edge - where the crust transitions from side to bottom, the corner if you will.

    It gets super hard! I finally realized it appears to be a result of the butter/crumb crust getting caramelized and what sugar is in the grahams cools and becomes quite hard. It can be eaten, but it is super chewy. I don't like this.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to overcome this problem. Usually this part of the crust isn't as uniform in thickness as the bottom and sides (it is usually thicker). Perhaps, if I made it as thin as possible, this might correct the problem? I suppose I could forgo the crust on the sides and this might solve the problem also, but the non uniform crust up the sides is somewhat of a signature of the cake itself so I wouldn't want to do that.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!
     
    shelzmike, Dec 17, 2016
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  2. shelzmike

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    You could perhaps try double wrapping the sides of the pan with baking paper? Fold it into a long strip and tie it around the outside of the pan with string - it will insulate the cheesecake. I do something similar when I make a Christmas cake :)
     
    Becky, Dec 19, 2016
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  3. shelzmike

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I would think that using sugarless graham crackers and adding your own sugar (using less of it) would help a bit.

    Also, adding something else to the crust mixture will also help.

    A lot of people will add some ground nuts to the crust mixture, such as pecans or walnuts, even almonds. This will help keep carmelization from occurring in most crusts, as it is a barrier between the sugars and the cracker crumbs.

    Also, you might look at using ginger snaps, ginger bread cookies, or some thick, hard cookie for your crust instead of graham.

    Personally, I love that kind of crust.

    You might also use less butter, or use a margarine.
     
    ChesterV, Dec 20, 2016
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  4. shelzmike

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea to add nuts :)
     
    Becky, Dec 20, 2016
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  5. shelzmike

    shelzmike New Member

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    Wow! Great suggestions that I had never thought of. I think pecans would be an awesome addition.

    And about the graham cracker without sugar suggestion...funny thing. I was looking at the graham crackers today when at the store buying the supplies and was trying to decide between the honey maid and the store brand...I immediately noticed the honey maid had added sugar on them, but store brand didn't so I went with that. I do already add a little bit of sugar to the crust because I do want a little bit of Caramelization to help hold the form without crumbling. I bet this will help.

    Additionally, I am going to focus more on getting that corner uniform thickness with the bottom and sides and making it much thinner than I usually make it. Thanks again for the tips!
     
    shelzmike, Dec 20, 2016
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  6. shelzmike

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    If you want a "perfect" corner in a cheesecake, my granny used to use an old soup can to make the corners in the pan. It's easier to get that uniform crust thickness by using something like that, as it will help you get a better packed lining crust rather than by hand.....or by using a spoon or fork.
     
    ChesterV, Dec 24, 2016
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  7. shelzmike

    shelzmike New Member

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    I do use a plastic 1 Cup dry measuring cup for the corners, but don't usually take the extra time to make it even on the sides and the bottom.

    So when I made it last week, I used the store brand grahams, which were the only ones I could find without the sugar on them. I also reduced the amount of sugar in the crust that the crust mix. This did solve the problem, but almost made me have an opposite problem. The crust was too crumbly at that point. I think the trick will be non-sugar coated grahams but retain the usual amount of sugar in the mix. Thanks for all the help!
     
    shelzmike, Dec 28, 2016
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