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As a pie crust that is composed mainly of crumbs of graham crackers, the graham cracker crust is an ideal choice for several different types of cream pies, especially when there is no time to roll out dough for a flour based crust. Here are some tips on how to make a graham cracker crust, as well as some suggestions for use.
Graham cracker crusts are exceptionally easy to prepare. All that is required is a regular sized box of graham crackers, sugar, and butter. For persons who are trying to cut back on the sweets, this basic recipe will still work well if the sugar is omitted. The first task is to crush the graham crackers into small crumbs. This can be accomplished by placing the crackers into a bag and using the hands to pulverize the crackers. With a little effort, there will soon be nothing left but graham cracker crumbs to work with.
Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, taking a moment to thoroughly mix the two dry ingredients. Next, melt butter or margarine and work it into the mixture, making sure that all the crumbs are thoroughly moistened and the crumbs are beginning to stick together. Spoon the pie crust mixture into a pie tin and use the hands to gently spread the pie crust evenly across the bottom of the tin and up the sides. Once the graham cracker pie crust is in place, you can turn your attention to the filling.
For pies that require a cold filling, such as pies made with pudding or cheesecake filling, chill the graham cracker crust for an hour before adding the filling to the pie tin. This will allow plenty of time for the crust to settle into place and become strong enough to hold the filling in place when the pie is cut. However, if the filler will be hot and required baking, then simply add the filling to the pie tin and bake according to the recipe. The crust will strengthen during the baking process, and hold up very well when cut.
All sorts of hot and cold fillings can be used with a graham cracker crust. Pudding selections such as chocolate, butterscotch, and vanilla all work very well with a crust made from graham crackers. In like manner, some forms of fruit fillings are also good with a graham cracker crust. One of the most popular uses of the graham cracker crust is as a bottom crust for a cheesecake. In fact, many no-bake cheesecake products will include graham cracker crumbs in the package contents.
Just about anyone, regardless of his or her level of culinary expertise, can produce a tasty graham cracker crust. However, for those who are not sure they can master the process, there are several brands of pre-made graham cracker crusts in the supermarket.
I think the first pie crust I ever made was a graham cracker crust. It was one of those no-bake cheesecake kits from the store, and it came with a package of graham cracker crumbs. I added the melted butter and patted the crust into a pie plate.
The no-bake kits are really great for kids. With just a little adult supervision, any child can make a really nice dessert. I recommend them for kids who have shown an interest in cooking. Nothing like a little success to keep them interested in the project. And I've never met a kid who didn't like anything that had a graham cracker crust on it. I learned early on that usually meant something really good.
You can also use artificial sweetener, like Splenda, for a sugar-free graham cracker crust. One way to bulk up a graham cracker crust is to use finely ground almonds or pecans with the cracker mixture. This will also add some nice texture to the crust.
A cookie or cracker crust is easy to make, and pretty much goof proof. For a pumpkin cheesecake, for instance, you could use the cinnamon sugar graham crackers for the crust, chocolate cookies for a cookie crust, and shortbread crumbs for a shortbread crust. A cook is only limited by his or her imagination.