If you’ve struggled to create a gluten-free graham cracker crust that stacks up to the regular version, your wait it over!
The first time I made a gluten-free graham cracker crust several years back, I simply replaced the regular graham cracker crumbs in my traditional recipe with a gluten-free alternative. Cup-for-cup gluten-free flours tend to do a good job filling in for wheat flour in cakes, quick breads, and the like, so I figured a similar swap would work in this application.
I was wrong,
Everything looked fine, until I removed the crust from the oven. It promptly slumped down in the pie plate. The edges were no longer high enough to hold the filling, and though I tried to nudge them back up, they preferred to stay slumped.
Clearly, further adjustments were needed.
Happily, taste was not an issue, but the texture and structure needed attention. Less butter seemed like an effective way to reduce slumping, but that alone didn’t solve the problem.
After some trial and error, I discovered that a mere tablespoon of gluten-free flour provided the necessary structure, preventing the sad slump and delivering the crisp texture we expect from a good graham cracker crust.
My husband, by the way, likes my graham cracker crusts so much that he thinks I should make a cookie recipe out of the crust!
Over time, I have made gluten-free crusts with the three brands of graham crackers that are most widely available, and while all work, there are differences…and I do have a favorite.
Which is the best gluten-free graham cracker to use for a crust?
Schär Honeygrams: These are my favorite for a few reasons. First, the texture. The cracker is light and crisp and will create a crust that rivals its glutenous counterpart. As an added bonus, the size of the package is exactly the amount needed for the crust. No counting crackers, no weighing crumbs. Just use the whole package and the results will be fantastic. (But that also means there’s no room for snacking on crackers.)
Kinnikinnick S’moreables: A thicker, denser cracker, these make for tasty snacking (great for dipping in coffee or tea too). That texture, however, translates into a harder crust. So while a crust made with Kinnikinnick’s crackers tastes great, you need to use some pressure with your fork to crack it – i.e., the crust may be crunchier than you’d like it. You will have some crackers leftover with this box.
Also of note: Although they are called S’moreables, these crackers are thicker than you’d likely want for s’mores.
Pamela’s Honey Grahams: These are closer in look to the Kinnikinnick graham crackers (a little thicker), but they have a less dense texture that is more like Schär’s crackers. They are a great alternative for a gluten-free graham cracker crust, and you will have a few leftover.
I’ve tried a few of my pie recipes with this crust, all of which worked beautifully, including:
- White Chocolate Pecan
- Maple Pumpkin
- Mini Lemon Pies (can be made as one larger pie too)
- Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Aunt Barb’s Strawberry Chiffon
- Chindeep Buttermilk
- Mud Pie (Oreo crust is my go-to here, but you could mix it up…and create new desserts by varying the ice cream flavors)
What size pie plate will the crust accommodate? I most often use this crust for standard 9- x 1½-inch pies, and there are enough crumbs to make a nice thick edge. There will be enough of the crumb mixture, however, to press into a 10-inch pie plate or a 9-inch deep dish plate. In this case, the edges will be somewhat thinner.