Nutty Crust for Cheesecakes, Tarts and Pies
I love this walnut crust as a flavor and textural counterpoint to all things creamy: cheesecakes, cheesecake tarts, custard and mousse fillings and fruit tarts as well. There is something about it. The ingredients are humble and yet tasters always single it out in whatever dessert it is in and rave about it. Try it in our Frozen Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte Mousse Tart. You can pat this in with your fingers, or use a flat bottomed measuring cup or glass to help create nice clean edges as seen below.
- 1½ cups walnut halves
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- This crust amount can line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch pie plate. For larger, 10-inch fluted loose-bottom tart pans see Tips below.
- Coat bottom and sides of springform pan with nonstick spray. If using a Pyrex pie plate just lightly coat the bottom with spray.
- Place walnuts, flour and sugar in bowl of food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until nuts are reduced to a fine meal. Add melted butter and process on and off a couple of times to incorporate.
- Press walnut crust into chosen pan creating an even layer all around.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes to partially bake or 10 to 12 minutes, or until just beginning to turn a light brown, for fully baked (see individual recipes). Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until needed.
- To prepare a crust for a 10-inch fluted loose-bottom tart pan follow directions above using 2 ¼ cups walnuts, ¾ cup flour, 3 tablespoons sugar and 6 tablespoons butter. Make sure to coat all parts of the pan well with nonstick spray before pressing in the walnut crust.
- You can make this crust using the same amount of pecans instead of the walnuts.