In Cookies, We Crust
By Meda Kessler
Photos by Meda Kessler
Don’t fret over never having been able to make the perfect flour pie crust. Simply exchange your rolling pin for a food processor to make cookie crumble crusts. They’re easy, fast and add punch to any cream-style pie, including the basic pumpkin version. These creative options also taste good enough to stop your traditionalist sister from judging you for a lack of pastry skills.
Almost any crispy cookie will work, including sandwich cookies and chocolate-covered cookies. We use unsalted butter, so we can add the seasoning ourself and better control the flavor. Use a small metal measuring cup to press the cookie crust dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a pie plate. Also, baking a crumb crust before adding the filling helps the mixture hold together and brings out the flavor.
Any flavor of the crispy Italian biscuits will work. We like chocolate but any flavor will do.
- 2½-2¾ cups biscotti, crushed
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
The spiciness of ginger pairs perfectly with pumpkin or fruit fillings. We like the ginger cookies from World Market or Trader Joe’s Ginger Snaps.
- 2½-2¾ cups gingersnap cookies, crushed
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (can substitute cinnamon or nutmeg)
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Ground nuts add extra flavor to these buttery cookies.
- 2½-2¾ cups shortbread cookies, crushed
- ¼ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
To make a crumble crust Add cookies to food processor bowl and pulse until finely ground. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix. Add butter and mix. Press dough firmly in an even layer on bottom and sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes. Cool before adding the filling of your choice.
A caveat: These won’t slice as neatly as a flour crust — that’s the way the cookies crumble.