I always avoided pies/cakes that called for graham cracker crusts. Something just seemed not right about buying graham crackers, mushing them up, and pressing it into a pie pan. Sort of like how I don’t like to buy pre-made pie crusts (maybe I’m neurotic?). So imagine my delight when happened upon a better way to make a graham cracker batter (and crust) from scratch!
The common mush-up-the-store-bought-graham-cracker method is pretty tough to compete with when it comes to difficulty, but this is also quite easy (much easier than a pâte brisée, so breathe easy!) and need I say that it tastes better? Plus, if you have leftover batter after you line your pie pans, you can just roll it out and make graham crackers! Its a piece of cake…er, easy as pie…crust. Yea, onto the recipe.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
This makes two pie crusts
Let the butter come to room temperature (figure 30-60 minutes out of the fridge).
In a large bowl, mix both kinds of flour, salt, and cinnamon.
Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Once it is, add in both kinds of sugar and keep mixing until it all blends together well, after which, you should add in the honey until well mixed.
Add about half of the dry mixture into the butter mix, mixing until fully combined, after which, you should add the remaining dry mix, continuing the mix until this is all fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to get everything in there if you need to.
Lay out some plastic wrap and transfer your dough onto it. Make an effort to flatten it out into a disk, but don’t worry about making it super thin yet. It might be a little tacky, so just do the best you can. Wrap this up tightly and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour so that the dough can firm up.
When you come back to the dough, set it out on your countertop. Normally, you should work on a lightly floured surface, blah blah, but I found something that I think is tremendously easier and cleaner. Keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the exposed surface of the dough with some flour and put another piece of plastic wrap on top of it (so you have a plastic wrap, dough, plastic wrap sandwich). Now, roll it out to be as thin as you can manage (like 1/8 inch thick) with your rolling pin–no sticking!
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Put your pie pan upside down on top of the rolled out dough and with a sharp knife, cut out a circle about 1 inch wider than the widest part of your pie pan. Move the excess dough out of your way.
Now, with your pie pan still upside down on top of the dough, carefully, lift your circle of dough and pan using the bottom layer of plastic wrap (woo hoo, no dough breaking in half!). Carefully flip this all over so the whole thing is right side up, peel off the plastic, and gently slide the dough into the pan so that it fits it nicely. Is that a perfect fit, or what? No pressing, no cracks, no tears, and no flour all over the countertop.
Trim any excess off the lip of your pan with a sharp knife and clean it up as necessary to look pretty.
If you have excess dough, simply form another ball and roll it out again to make another crust (or graham crackers!).
As for cooking the crust, you’ll usually want to prebake this before you put whatever pie filling inside. This means refrigerating briefly (5 minutes or so after all of this handling the dough), pricking the crust all over with a fork (or it will bubble and burst in the oven), and cooking in a 325°F oven for about 18 minutes. Let it cool on a rack and then you can move on to the rest of your dessert, whatever it may be (you’ll see mine soon enough)!