Do you love pie, but stress about the crust? Welcome to a very large club.
Never fear. Homemade pies aren’t just for those people who were born with the domestic gene. After making this graham cracker crust, you will be able to start your very own new club called “Look, Ma, I Made a Pie!”
EASY-PEASY GRAHAM CRACKER PIE CRUST
This graham cracker pie crust is buttery, crunchy, and a cinch to make. This crust is your first lesson on Day One of Pie School.
Just crush some graham crackers—you can do that, right? Now, mix them with a little sugar and melted butter, press them into a pie pan, and bake. In the words of the famous Ina Garten, how easy is that?
PIES MADE WITH GRAHAM CRACKER CRUSTS
The fillings for pies made with graham crackers are great in summer—how about an ice cream pie? Topped with whipped cream, you look like a genius when you pull one out of the freezer.
Then there are key lime pies, lemon icebox pies (pictured above!), chocolate pudding pies, banana cream pies, Greek yogurt tarts with fresh berries, and let’s not forget cheesecakes! So many pies, so little time!
Here are some great pies to make with a graham cracker crust!
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUSTS
You can spice up the basic crust in this recipe with a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom or any other spice that complements the filling. Ditto for orange zest, lemon zest and, of course, let’s not forget vanilla extract.
This recipe can also be adapted to many other dry cookies such as vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, gingersnaps, and one of my favorites, Biscoff cookies. You will need 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs for one 9-inch pie.
MORE TIPS FOR EASY GRAHAM CRACKER CRUSTS
- Finely grind the crumbs. This ensures the crust will hold together well when the crumbs are pressed into the pan. If you don’t have a food processor, you can enclose the broken graham crackers in a plastic bag and roll over them with a rolling pin.
- Nut sure your butter is mixed in? After you mix in the butter, you’ll know it’s ready when a handful of the crumbs hold together in your hand when you squeeze them.
- The secret to an even crust: Spread the crumbs in the pan first, so you can evenly distribute them. Use your fingers to press the crumbs into the sides first and then the bottom.
- Press the crumbs really well: One you have the crumbs evenly distributed around the pan, use a dry measuring cup wrapped in plastic wrap (to prevent it from sticking to the crumbs) and press firmly into the sides and bottom of the pan.
Graham Cracker Crust Recipe
- 12 rectangular graham crackers (about 6 ounces), broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 to 8 tablespoons (3/4 to 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Food processor
- 9-inch pie plate
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a rack in the middle position.
2 Make the crumbs: In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.
By hand: Enclose the broken graham crackers in a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag. Seal the bag and roll over with a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs.
3 Mix the crust: Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the sugar, salt, and 6 tablespoons of the butter until they are thoroughly combined.
A small handful of crust should hold together when you squeeze it in your palm. If it doesn't, add more butter, a tablespoon at a time, until it does.
4 Press the crust into the pie pan: Spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pie pan. With your fingers, press it into the sides of the pan all around, and then into the bottom of the pan.
Cover a dry measuring cup with plastic wrap (to keep it from sticking to the crumbs). Gently re-press the crumbs into the pan to make them even and compact, starting with the sides first. Tamp down the crumbs on the bottom so the crumbs are even and compact.
4 Bake the crust: Place the pie pan in the center of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly browned. Set the pie pan on a rack to cool to room temperature and use according to the directions of your recipe.
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