There are a number of different kinds of cheesecake crusts, some of which are prepared from scratch, and others that use commercially produced cookies or wafers as a base. The most commonly used cheesecake crust in the United States, and some other areas, is based on graham crackers. Similar crusts can be prepared by crushing other types of wafers and cookies, some of which require the addition of binding agents. Other variants are typically made out of pastries or sponge cakes, though it is also possible to make a cheesecake crust from crushed nuts or nut flour.
Cheesecake is a type of desert that is made from soft cheese that usually has not been aged. Some cheesecakes are made from cream cheese, while others use neufchatel, and in Germany they use a variety of fresh cheese known as quark. Other ingredients typically include sugar, various types of cream, and eggs, though different regions around the world each have their own unique recipes. These deserts date back to at least the time of ancient Greece, when a physician known as Aegimus described several types of cheesecakes, including one that used a crust similar to modern recipes.
The most popular cheesecake crusts can vary from one country to another, though graham cracker crusts are popular in the United States and some other areas. This kind of cheesecake crust requires crushed graham crackers that are mixed with butter and then pressed evenly into a pan. The crust may be either thin or thick, and is sometimes baked prior to pouring in the cheesecake filling. In addition to graham crackers, virtually any type of cookie or wafer can be crushed up and used to make this same type of crust. If a cookie or biscuit with a cream filling is used, there is typically no need to add butter as a binding agent.
Cheesecake crusts can also be either pastry- or spongecake-based. These crusts are prepared in much the same way as other pastries and spongecakes. Some cheesecake recipes call for laying strips of pastry on top, or using the cheesecake as a filling on top of a spongecake.
Another option for a cheesecake crust is to use crushed nuts or nut flour. Butter, or other binding agents, typically must be added to crushed nuts, just like graham cracker crusts. Nut flour can be used to make a pastry-like cheesecake crust that may also resemble shortbread.