This easy graham cracker crust for pies, bars, and cheesecakes only needs 3 ingredients. Substitute cookie crumbs for a fun variation, and either type can be baked or chilled as needed. Match your crust base to your filling for fun flavor combinations! Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Using a food processor, crush the graham crackers into crumbs. You can use a mallet and a plastic bag, especially if you're not having a good day. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl if you're not using the food processor.
Pour in the melted butter and sugar and pulse (or mix with a spoon) until the crumb mixture is combined. It will have a sandy texture, but be wet enough to hold together when pressed.
Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and partway up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan, a 9-inch round springform pan, or the baking pan you're using for your recipe. Use a pastry dough tart tamper, the bottom of a measuring cup, or a straight sided glass tumbler to pack the crust down tightly.
If you're using a standard 9-inch dish pan (not deep dish), you'll likely have ¼ to ½ cup of extra crumb mixture. This can become a garnish for the final product you're making, if you like.
For a no-bake crust: Chill the pie crust in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up the melted butter. Fill as desired.
To blind-bake the crust: Baking the crust gives a toasty flavor to the crust, but be sure to have the crumb mixture tamped down really well so the final crust holds together.
Place the crust in a preheated 375 °F oven for 15 minutes until the crumb mixture is set and you smell the graham crackers toasting. Remove the pan from the oven, and gently tamp down the crust if it puffed up in the oven. Cool on a rack if your recipe calls for that, and fill as desired.
For a cookie crumb crust: Replace the graham crackers with 2 cups (170 grams) of your choice of cookie crumbs. You can even add cookies to the graham cracker crumbs or combine different cookies together if you want. Just remember to adjust the amount of sugar to taste based on how sweet the cookie is. If you're using sandwich cookies with the filling, adjust both the sugar and the butter to taste. Some cookie suggestions are: