Press-In Cookie Crust
1 cup finely ground cookies (ground in a food processor); choose from one of the following: about 25 chocolate wafers, 8 whole graham crackers, or 35 vanilla wafers
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
Tip:I prefer Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, Honey Maid Grahams and Nilla Vanilla Wafers for these crusts. If you don't have a food processor, put the cookies in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Have ready an ungreased 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and sugar with a fork until well blended. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix with the fork or your fingers until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Put the crumbs in the tart pan and use your hands to spread the crumbs so that they coat the bottom of the pan and start to climb the sides. Use your fingers to pinch and press some of the crumbs around the inside edge of the pan to cover the sides evenly and create a wall a scant 1/4 inch thick. Redistribute the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan and press firmly to make a compact layer. (I like to use a metal measuring cup with straight sides and a flat base for this task.)
Bake the crust until it smells nutty and fragrant (crusts made with lighter-colored cookies will brown slightly), about 10 min. Set the baked crust on a rack and let cool. The crust can be made up to one day ahead of filling, and stored at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic.
Photo: Scott Phillips