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Crumb Crusts: Get Creative!

graham cracker crumb crust

Photo by little blue hen (Flickr: unbaked graham cracker pie crust) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the easiest pie crusts to make is the crumb crust. The most common crumb crust is made with plain graham crackers. But you don’t need to stop there.

You can make a crumb crust from any crisp food, from cookies to crackers to cereal. Ask yourself what would pair well with the filling you have in mind?

Salted caramel is a food trend right now. So you could try making a caramel pudding pie with either a pretzel or saltine cracker crust.

Here are some items that you could use to create your own crumb crust:

  • flavored graham crackers
  • ginger snap cookies
  • chocolate wafer cookies
  • Cornflakes
  • Cheerios
  • Honey Nut Cheerios
  • Nilla wafers
  • butter cookies
  • shortbread cookies
  • crispy oatmeal cookies
  • saltine crackers
  • pretzels
  • Wheat Thins

Basically, if you can turn it into crumbs, you can transform it into a crumb crust for your pie (or cheesecake, for that matter).

Regardless of what type of crumbs you use, the recipe is basically the same:

Crumb Crust Ingredients & Directions

1-1/2 cups fine crumbs
1/3 cup butter (softened or melted)

Combine crumbs and butter. Press into a pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Voila! You’re done and ready to pour in your favorite filling.

Tips for Creating Crumbs

You can actually buy ready-made crumbs. I’ve found them for graham crackers, chocolate cookies and even Nutter Butters. However, I would advocate for making your own crumbs. I’ve found that they just taste fresher.

The way I make crumbs is I break up the cookies by hand into pieces and put the pieces into a ZipLock bag. Then I pound them with a rolling pin to break them up further. Finally, I roll the rolling pin on the bag, back and forth, until the crumbs are fine.

Yes, this is a bit time-consuming and you’ll get an upper body workout thrown in for good measure, but it really pays off in the flavor.

More Creative Crumb Ideas

You can also make crumb crusts with nuts. Grind walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds or any other nut into fine crumbs, and use them as the base of your crust.

If you grind the nuts into a meal, you can simply combine them with butter per the recipe above and go from there.

However, if you’d like a slightly different take, let the nut crumbs be less fine, and mix them in with some cookie crumbs.

Crumb Crusts Fit Into Multiple Diet Plans

The beauty of crumb crusts is that you can easily adapt them to specialty diets. Are you gluten free? Use gluten free crumbs! Are you diabetic? Use low sugar, high protein crumbs!


Create Your Own Unique Pie!

Your Perfect Pie by Carma SpenceDoes pie making daunt you? Are you wary of deviating from any pie-recipe you find, for fear that you’ll ruin the flavor of the resulting pie?

It doesn’t have to be that way!

Pie-Palooza 2017 is brought to you by Your Perfect Pie, a cookbook that breaks down pies into easily made component parts so you can unleash your pie-making creativity. Available on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Grab your copy today and start creating your perfect pie!


Welcome to Carma's Cookery's Pie-Palooza 2017 - A month of pie legend, lore and love

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About the author

Carma Spence has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas. She is the author of Bonkers for Bundt Cakes and Your Perfect Pie, as well as author and contributor to several more non-food-related books. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining.

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