Easy, No-Bake Alternatives for Pie Crust
There are few desserts as delicious as a slice of good old-fashioned pie. Whether you’re a fan of tart cherries in a flaky, buttery pieshell or chocolate custard piled high with fluffy whipped cream in a crushed graham cracker crust, there’s no better way to end a meal than with a slice of pie. The only downside of this scratch-made treat is that the crust can be a bit of work; by the time you mix the dough, chill it, roll it out, and then chill it again, the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on and worry about how to bake the crust to golden-brown perfection. Luckily, there are a number of delicious no-bake pie crust alternatives for those times when you need a slice of homemade pie without all of the work.
If you familiarize yourself with the basic recipe for a crushed graham cracker crust, you can make a near-infinite number of no-bake pie crusts. The formula is simple: sweeten crushed cookies or crackers with a little bit of sugar, add some melted butter to help the crumbs stick together, and then let the crust set in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. For one 9-inch pie pan you’ll need about 1 ½ cups of crushed graham crackers (or any other crispy cookie) and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Combine those two ingredients in a food processor until mixed and then add 5 to 6 tablespoons of melted butter — you want to add enough butter that the mixture resembles damp sand and will stick together when squeezed in your hand. Then, all that’s left to do is press the crust into the bottom (and up onto the sides) of your pie pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After that, add whatever no-bake filling that you’re craving.
No-bake pie crust is all about creativity — from butter crackers to crunchy granola, there are a number of foods in your pantry that can easily be transformed into the perfect pie crust. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Chocolate Wafer Pie Crust
Crisp chocolate wafer cookie crumbs can be substituted for graham cracker crumbs for an easy-to-make chocolate pie crust. Don’t have wafer cookies on hand? Try Oreo cookies instead — just be sure to remove the cream filling first.
Gingersnap Pie Crust
Perfect for tart citrusy pies like Key lime or lemon meringue, a crushed gingersnap crust adds a touch of spice to your no-bake pie. Crushed biscotti or speculoos cookies can be used as well.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.