Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easy Cracker-Crumb Crust

Store-bought Graham Cracker Crust is so awful, and making a real cracker crumb crust is so easy. Try different varieties of crackers and cookies to make your pie interesting. Graham cracker crusts are always a favorite, but for some very sweet pies (i.e. Butterscotch) you may want a Ritz cracker crust to give it a touch of saltiness. You can also match the flavor of the crust to the pie (i.e. chocolate cookie crust for chocolate cream pie, vanilla wafer crust for vanilla cream pie). I have also used gingersnaps, almond wafers, and crunchy Lemon cookies.

1 1/2 Cups Cracker or cookie crumbs (use a food processor to get the finest crumb)
*optional: 1/4 to 1/2 Cup confectioner's sugar (see note below)
6 tablespoons melted butter

Stir ingredients together until well blended. Pat into the pie pan gently at first, to position the crumbs as evenly as possible. Then go over it, pressing more firmly to really set the crumbs in place. If you prefer, you can put a sheet of plastic wrap over the top to make it easier to press firmly without the crumbs sticking to your hands. Another method: If you have a second pie pan of the same size, you can rest it inside the crust and press firmly.

Crumb crusts can either be chilled (as for cream pies) or baked (for any kind of filling that will need to go back in the oven, like something with meringue topping). If you are chilling the crust to set it, just make sure you give it at least an hour in the fridge. For baking, bake at 350 for about ten minutes, then allow it to cool before filling.

About adding sugar to the crust:
For Graham Cracker Crust I usually add 1/4 Cup confectioner's sugar, more when making a crust from Ritz Crackers, and no sugar at all when using cookie crumbs for the crust.

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