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Episode 1: Press-in Cookie Crust Tarts

Sarah Breckenridge. Videography by Bruce Becker, Dariusz Kanarek, and John Ross. Edited by Cari Delahanty. Food styling by Safaya Tork.
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A press-in cookie crust is one of the easiest, quickest pie or tart crusts to make: you don’t have to worry about dough coming together or staying tender, so it’s perfect if you’re a beginner baker or just need a fast dessert. In this episode, you’ll learn to make a stylish Ricotta-Lime Tart in a Gingersnap Crust that’s shockingly quick and easy to make.

Cookie-Crusted Tart Recipes
Creamy Lime Ricotta Tart Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Tart Double-Ginger Pumpkin Tart Chocolate Truffle Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone Topping
Creamy Lime Ricotta Tart in a Gingersnap Crust   Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Tart   Double-Ginger Pumpkin Tart   Chocolate Truffle Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone Topping

Make the Crust
You’ve probably made a graham-cracker crust before, and that’s basically what we’re doing here, but you can use just about any kind of crisp cookie to make a crumb crust–vanilla and chocolate wafers, gingersnaps, and Abby particularly loves Moravian cookies, which come in all kinds of fun flavors like lemon or chocolate-orange.

A food processor is the quickest way to pulverize your cookies into crumbs. Just crumble them into the bowl, and pulse until they’re finely ground. You’ll need 1 cup of crumbs for a 9-1/2 inch tart crust.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can also crush the cookies by hand: just put them in a bag and give them a good firm roll with a rolling pin.

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cookie crumbs, then drizzle in 3 Tbs. melted butter and mix with a fork until the crumbs are all evenly moistened by the butter.

Now turn out the crumbs into your tart pan–you definitely want one with a removable bottom for these tarts. The only real trick of these tart crusts is pressing the crumbs into an even layer all over the bottom and sides. Abby likes to lay down a sheet of plastic wrap over the crumbs and use her hands to press-that way she can make sure it’s all even and she doesn’t get crumbs sticking to my hands.

A straight-sided measuring cup is also good for making sure you get the crumbs into every little flute of the sides. You want the side walls just a little bit less than 1/4 inch thick. And then use that cup just to make sure everything is compacted in there–if it’s loose, it won’t adhere together as it bakes.

Bake and Fill the Crust
Bake the crust unfilled at 350° F until it smells nutty and fragrant–if you’re using a lighter-colored cookie, like vanilla wafers, the crust will turn a nice golden brown. And then it’s ready to fill.

When the tart is finished and cooled, just remove the outer ring–its easy if you place it over something smaller like a can of tomatoes, and then it’s ready to slice and serve.

More Cookie-Crusted Pie and Tart Recipes
Chocolate-Raspberry Tart with a Gingersnap Crust
Creamy Orange-Ricotta Tart
Coconut-Cream Pie

Related Articles
Stylish Tarts from a Quick Crust

Abigail Johnson Dodge is a contributing editor at Fine Cooking, and teaches cooking classes around the country. She studied at La Varenne in Paris, and worked with Michel Guerard and Guy Savoy, specializing in pastry. She has written six cookbooks, four of them about baking, including The Weekend Baker, winner of the IACP award. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Other episodes in this series
Press-in Cookie Crust Tarts Equipment Essentials for Pies All About Pie Dough
Episode 1: Press-in Cookie Crust Tarts
  Episode 2: Equipment Essentials for Pies   Episode 3: All About Pie Dough
Rustic Fruit Galettes Double-Crust Apple Pie Single-Crust Pecan and Pumpkin Pies
Episode 4: Rustic Fruit Galettes   Episode 5: Double-Crust Apple Pie   Episode 6: Single-Crust Pecan and Pumpkin Pies
Pâte Sucrée and Lemon Tart Lattice-Topped Mixed Berry Pie Rough Puff Pastry Tarts
Episode 7: Pâte Sucrée and Lemon Tart   Episode 8: Lattice-Topped Mixed Berry Pie   Episode 9: Rough Puff Pastry Tarts
Classic Fresh Fruit Tart    
Episode 10: Classic Fresh Fruit Tart        

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