Pies with Less Stress: How To Make a Cookie Crumb Crust

If you are someone for whom the combination of flour, butter, water (maybe vodka) and a rolling pin is enough to make you hyperventilate, we have an easier crust option for you...The cookie crumb crust is a pie-shy baker's dream. You crush some cookies, you add melted butter, you press it into the pie plate. No chilling, no rolling, no stressing. Cookie crusts are great for ice cream pies, since they firm up when chilled and don't really need to be baked. They're also classic crusts for cheesecake and some custard pies.

You can use Oreos (go ahead and leave the filling in there- no big deal), shortbread, gingersnaps, graham crackers, or any number of other cookies—whatever would complement the flavor of your filling. It helps to have a food processor, which will turn your cookies into crumbs in seconds, but you can also crush the cookies in a plastic bag using the bottom of a sauce pan.

Some recipes call for adding extra sugar to the crumbs, but we never do. You could, however, add finely chopped nuts.

Here's a basic formula: 1 1/2 to 2 cups of crumbs, plus 5 or 6 tablespoons of melted butter.

The exact measurements will depend on how big your pie plate is and how far up the sides you want your crust to go. If you want the crust to extend all the way up the sides of the dish, go for 2 cups of crumbs and at least 6 tablespoons of melted butter. You can always add more (or add a little water like in this recipe for a DIY Graham Cracker Crust). The goal is to have a moist mixture that holds together when you pinch it.

To form the crust, simply pour the crumb/butter mixture into the bottom of a pie plate and press it out and up with your fingers. The pie above has a gingersnap crust with chopped pecans in it.

Get the recipe:

Related: Recipe: Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

(Image: Romulo Yanes for Gourmet)

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