Using just three pantry staples, and about 10 minutes prep-time, this crisp and toasty homemade crust elevates your pie game to new heights!
A good pie crust will elevate dessert. And in this case, it’s easy.
No rolling. Three simple ingredients. Nothing fussy.
Trusty store-bought options offer a convenient choice and do the trick, but as is often the case, something homemade tends to up the game.
The graham cracker is uniquely American, and while similar biscuits and crackers are found in other parts of the world, there’s nothing quite the same. Whether it’s the classic s’more, a snack topped with peanut butter, or the much-loved pie crust, the graham cracker has an iconic taste and texture that reminds many of us of our childhood.
There are a few different brands of graham crackers on the market, and they may produce a slightly different crust, but one is not necessarily better than another for this recipe. And though the similar biscuits and crackers mentioned won’t precisely replicate the traditional crust, they often work.
Depending on the flavor profile and texture desired, you can replace the graham crackers in the following recipe with an equal amount of vanilla wafers, digestive biscuits, gingersnaps, pretzels, Oreos, animal cracker, shortbread cookies, and even corn flakes.
And as mentioned, it’s easy. Once the crumbs are mixed with the melted butter and sugar, the mixture is simply pressed into an ungreased pie plate. Ten minutes in the oven will set the crust to crisp perfection, and it’s ready for your favorite fillings.
Three ingredients – butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs – are mixed together for a delicious crust.
I’ve used this graham cracker crust with a wide variety of recipes, and it consistently delivers excellent results:
What size pie plate will the graham cracker crust work with? I most often use this crust in a standard 9- x 1½-inch pie plate, 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 standard pie plate or a 9-inch deep dish plate. In this case, the edges will be somewhat thinner.
Graham crackers are pulverized in a small chopper or food processor and then go into a mixing bowl. Alternatively, you may purchase graham cracker crumbs and skip this step.
Sugar is added to the graham cracker crumbs.
Melted butter is then mixed in.
Helpful hints: I use the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to gently press down on the crumbs and to push the crust up the sides. Then, as I hold the cup against the side, I use my fingers to press down along the top to make a nice, clean edge.
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (150g from 10 full graham cracker sheets)
6 tablespoons (84g) melted butter
¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar**
Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
If you’re starting with graham crackers, use a food processor or blender to grind them into fine crumbs (I break them up a bit before adding to the processor). Alternatively, you can put the crackers in a zip-top bag and crush them into fine crumbs with rolling pin.
In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. The mixture will be thick and sandy.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9- to 10-inch pie plate. Helpful hint: Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to more easily press the crumbs into an even, compact layer, making sure to press into the corners too.
Bake the unfilled crust for 10 minutes (or according to your recipe’s instructions) and then cool before filling and baking. You can also use the baked and cooled crust for a no-bake dessert, like a pudding or ice cream pie. (For the Lemon Pie, you can fill the crust when it comes out of the oven – no need to cool!)
Storage: The crust will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Once cooled, wrap it well, being careful not to bump the edges. A well-wrapped crust may also be frozen for up to three months.
*Size of pie plate: This recipe contains enough crumbs to cover a standard 10″ pie crust. That said, I most often use it with a standard 9-inch pie plate, and we enjoy the slightly thicker crust that results.
*Vary the flavor profile: You may use an equal amount of gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, Oreos, digestive biscuits, pretzels, animal cracker, shortbread cookies, and even corn flakes in place of graham crackers.
**Sugaradjustment: If your pie filling is not too sweet and you’d like a sweeter crust to balance it, you may use up to ⅓ cup sugar in this crust recipe. Reducing the sugar, however, may create a crumbly crust.