When a receipe uses cookie crumbs mixed with melted butter for a base, it usually requires it to go into the oven for about 10 minutes. I am wondering why it needs to go into the oven as opposed to the fridge. I'm thinking that the fridge will help set the butter and make it more solid so it can be sliced, unlike the hot oven. Does anyone know the reason for heating the crust? I know the oven will toast the crust a bit, but the directions on the receipes usually say that it is to "set the crust".
When you bake a crumb crust, a few things happen. Related to "setting the crust" the baking step allows the butter to seep in to the crumbs, making the whole thing more of a unified unit. It also toasts the crust as a whole, giving the crust some imperviousness to the liquid in the filling, helping the crust to avoid becoming soggy before the whole cheesecake or pie is baked. Lastly, baking brings out the aromas of the ingredients in the crust. If you don't bake a crumb crust prior to filling, it'll just be butter moistened crumbs, not a "crust".