Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

print recipe card posted in Sweets by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

Learning how to make a graham cracker pie crust will open the door to making all sorts of tempting dessert pies including the Chocolate Fudge Pie pictured above.

Most people learning how to cook are totally terrified at the thought of making a pie crust. This graham cracker crust may well change your mind! It is about 1,000 times easier to make than making and rolling out a pie crust made of dough. (For the more adventurous beginner cooks, be sure to check out the bottom of this post for links on making a pie crust made of dough from scratch)

(For my international readers, graham crackers are readily available in the USA. I am not sure what the equivalent ingredient would be elsewhere. If anyone can recommend a plain, sweet cracker that is used in your country for a crumb crust, I would appreciate you adding it to the comments!)

You may be asking, “why should I bother making it myself?” You can buy a pre-made graham cracker pie crust, usually in two different sizes; 9-inch or a package of minis.

The answer is that the taste and texture of a home-made graham cracker crust is far superior to that of the pre-made variety. Plus, it just looks better presenting a dessert in a proper pie dish rather than a tin-foil pan!

Making the crust yourself is not complicated at all. It only takes three ingredients – butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs.

(An alternative to the butter and sugar would be to use 3 Tablespoons of canola oil and 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup.)

There are usually three packets of crackers each in a box. Each packet contains 9 crackers, and when crushed, will equal 1 and 1/4 cups of cracker crumbs.

To crush the crackers into crumbs, put the crackers in a zip-lock bag and, with a heavy can, start crushing.

Or just buy a box of the crumbs and ….

measure out 1 and 1/4 cups of crumbs.

In the USA, butter comes in sticks.

(One stick has 8 Tablespoons, which equals 1/2 cup or 4 ounces or 113 grams.)

Put 5 Tablespoons of butter into a med-large microwave safe mixing bowl.

Melt the butter. This will take about 1 minute, depending on your microwave.

Add the crumbs to the bowl along with 1/4 cup of sugar.

Using a fork, mix these ingredients together.

It should be all blended, but still crumbly.

Put the crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish and press them in place with your fingers…..

or a one-cup measuring cup.

When making a frozen or refrigerated pie filling, put the crust in the refrigerator to chill while making the filling. The crust should chill for about 10 minutes before adding the filling.

It is not necessary to bake the crust, unless your recipe specifically says to do so. But, baking the crust will give it a wonderful taste and a crispier texture.

To bake a graham cracker pie crust, preheat the oven to 350 degree oven and bake the crust for 8 minutes.

Cool the crust completely before adding the filling.

A tart pan with a removable bottom is also a great option instead of using a pie dish.

If you have never seen a pan with a removable bottom it really does look odd. Press the crumbs into the pan the same way you would a regular pie dish.

When it comes time to serve from a pie made in a tart pan, place the tart on a large can.

The ring drops down…

And the pie is ready to serve!

Cheers!

P.S.

Here are some great pie crust links:

Pie Crusts – Ready Made – tips from startcooking.com

Food Wishes recipe video on Easy Homemade Pie Crust

Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pie Crust

The Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten’s video on making a pie crust

Simply Recipes – Lattice Top Pie Crust

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13 Comments

lee said:

In the UK the usual thing used is digestive biscuits (for biscuit read cookie). Sweeter than graham crackers but make a nice crust.

Shauna McCabe said:

I agree, digestive biscuits are perfect for pie crusts. Crumbled shortbread also makes a wonderful, buttery crust.

For people with gluten intolerance or for celiacs, you want a flourless crust. You can use almond, peacan, hazelnut or cashew meal can be used instead of a cookie or cracker. The crust is made exactly as you made yours here in this recipe, you just pretend that the nut meal is crumbled cookie. I prefer to use brown sugar instead of white for the nut crusts. Hopefully the person in question isn`t allergic to nuts.

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Lee, If digestive biscuits are sweeter, how much sugar should you use?

Shanua you have added some wonderful alternatives that many people will really appreciate…Thanks!

D said:

Hi! I’m having trouble with my graham cracker crusts.

I followed all the directions as listed.

I’m making my crusts in a glass pyrex pie pan since that is all I have (I don’t bake them – only chill). When it’s time to serve the pie, the crust gets stuck to the pan and I almost destroy the pie trying to get a slice out! HELP!

Kathy Maister said:

D,
For you next crust, try spraying the pie dish with non-stick spray (like PAM) and see if that helps.

(Some cracker crusts stick if there is too much butter or too little butter!)

ann italy said:

hi

i remember having eaten in the states the english pudding made by an old english lady.

i know there’s a lot of work involved and takes about a month to prepare it.

anyone can tell me something about it.

thanks so much

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Ann,
Have you seen my Bread Pudding recipe? This might be the one!
Cheers,
Kathy

Jon (Sacker) said:

My guess is that this is some variant of a traditional English Christmas (or Plum) pudding. In fact the BBC reckons you should start two months out.

Jon

Kathy Maister said:

Ah ha! Of course! Jon you are brilliant! Anna do check out Jon’s link to the English Christmas Pudding.

Thanks Jon!

CDLTNLA said:

Great information here from start to finish. Thank You!

I am making a key lime cheesecake for dessert this Thanksgiving and I needed some good pie crust ideas. Beautiful~ Thanks all :)

CDLTNLA

Anonymous said:

Kristen said:

I spent some time in France and Italy and in both countries you can find a butter cookie that works well.

startcooking said:

Hi Kristen,
Good to know – thanks for sharing!
Good luck cooking for the frat boys!
Kathy