A graham cracker crust is an easy to make option for all kinds of pies and desserts. A graham cracker crust will come together much more quickly than a traditional pastry crust, and while it isn’t a good choice if you’re looking to make a classic apple pie, it can add an additional layer of flavor and texture to recipes like cheesecake, key lime pie and other desserts.
At the market, graham cracker crusts are very inexpensive and can seem like they’re easier to buy than to make. The problem with those store bought crusts – and they usually taste good and are not a bad choice in a pinch! – is that they are often damaged by the time you get them home, with cracks in the base and sides that let your filling leak through. When I make homemade crumb crusts, I make them a bit thicker to prevent them from becoming soggy, even with very moist fillings, but the real reason that they are so much sturdier is that you can make them in a regular, non-flexible pie plate.
This crust is crisp and buttery. I add a pinch of cinnamon and salt in to give it a little bit more depth. The crust should be prebaked before using, regardless of whether you are using a baked or unbaked filling.
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
10 whole graham crackers, or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350F.
In the bowl of a food processor, whiz vanilla wafer cookies until reduced to crumbs. Add in sugar, salt and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Add in melted butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. If starting with graham cracker crumbs, this can be done by hand in a large bowl.
Pour into a 9-inch pie plate (or 9-inch square baking dish) and gently spread into an even layer over the bottom and sides. Press crumbs in firmly to create a tight crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until crust just begins to turn golden brown around the edges.
Cool completely before using.
Makes 1 pie crust.