A Delicious Graham Cracker Crust
Tips for Making the Perfect Graham Cracker Crust
The key to a perfect pie is often in the crust. For many pies, this means a good flakey crust made from dough that you prepare at home. For other pies, it's a graham cracker crust. Although I grew up loving fruit pies with a buttery, lightly sweetened crust, a homemade graham cracker crust was a must for other creations like banana creme pies, butterscotch creme pies, cheesecakes, and even my mother's creamy lemon meringue pie.
Although we're all busy and convenience is important, I very seldom resort to the pre-prepared graham cracker crusts at the store. If these are all you've ever had, then you're in for a treat. A homemade graham cracker crust is extremely simple to make, quick, and almost fool-proof!
Why Not Make Your Own?
Sure the pre-prepared crusts at the store save you time. But that's about all. Those tightly compacted little crusts have very little graham cracker flavor and really add nothing to the pie. Furthermore, I tend to avoid the pre-prepared items because they tend to add additional preservatives.
If dessert is going to be a treat, I want it to taste great, so I don't cut corners here.
If you're concerned about complexity, don't. I'm able to mix up my homemade graham cracker crusts in about 5 minutes and I'm able to do it with almost no mess to clean up. If you're concerned about how it will turn out, don't worry anymore. I'm not a "foodie" but these crusts are probably about the only thing I've had come out right every single time. A pastry crust takes some practice. Rolling it out, getting it on the pie, adding the finishing touches, all take some effort to get it right. A graham cracker crust on the other hand is a "piece of cake" so to speak.
So, Let's Get to that Homemade Graham Cracker Crust
I'm certain that if you search, you'll find other recipes for a graham cracker crust that are absolutely wonderful. This recipe is merely the one that my mother used nearly 40 or 50 years ago! It's not uncommon I'm sure.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 full packet plus 2 additional sheets)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
The steps involved are simple:
- Finely crush the graham crackers.
To make this a no-mess task, I simply place my graham crackers in a large Zip Lock bag, squeeze out any air, and close. Then I take a mallet and pound them for 15 seconds or so. Next, I finish grinding them even more finely with a rolling pin. None of the utensils or the counter get anything on them, I can then just empty the crumbs into a bowl with the melted butter and sugar, and mix. Some people use a food processor but I don't like cleaning them up! In addition, I actually prefer a crust that is slightly less powdery and compact.
- Once combined, pour into a 8 inch pie plate, and begin pressing it down firmly to the bottom and sides. (Don't leave it too thick in the corners!) I start in the center and work my way out.
I often use the bottom of my measuring cup to do the pressing on the bottom of the pie plate to make the task faster and more even.
- Once this is complete, chill the crust for one hour.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
- Let the crust cool, then you can pour in your favorite filling; baking as needed, to create your favorite pie.
These are good for cheesecakes of course. But I love them with lemon meringue, butterscotch, and banana creme pies as well. Probably any type of cream pie would go nicely.
Adding Your Favorite Spices
You can also experiment by adding some of your favorite spices to your graham cracker crust. Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg are examples of common additions.
© 2009 Ruth Coffee