Create a three ingredient gingersnap cookie crust to use with your favorite pie fillings
Do you love baking up pies from scratch? Add this gingersnap crust to your recipe arsenal! With only three ingredients, gingersnap cookie crust can be used for baked pies, tarts, no-bake cheesecakes, or cream pies. The rich and warm flavors from the gingersnaps give any pie a touch of spice. This versatile recipe is the perfect crumb crust that you'll want to make over and over again!
This gingersnap crust from scratch is a must on my holiday baking list! It's such a versatile recipe that I can use to make Thanksgiving pies (pumpkin is my favorite), no-bake cheesecakes, and so many other delicious treats! This is most definitely one of my favorite recipes using gingersnap crumbs!
Gingersnaps are an under-utilized cookie. They have a depth of spice and warm flavors that are unmatched by many other cookies we use for crumb crusts. The best part about this cookie crust is that gingersnaps pair so well with many other flavors - apple, sweet potato, lime, pumpkin, and so much more!
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
You'll learn a few new baking skills in the kitchen by making this recipe including:
- The method for making almost any crumb crust. We're using gingersnaps in this recipe, but you can replicate this process to make an Oreo, pretzel, or even a vanilla wafer crust.
- Steps for troubleshooting your gingersnap crust if something goes wrong (i.e. the crumb isn't holding together or oil is leaking from the crust).
- And finally, how to make this crust by baking OR freezing it.
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I love a recipe that only involves three ingredients! These are the same three ingredients you would use in any crumb crust:
- Gingersnap cookies: This is the crumb, or base, to the crust. There are many different types of gingersnap cookies on the market, so find your favorite one based on flavor and stick with that!
- Light brown sugar: Be sure you firmly pack the brown sugar when measuring it.
- Salted butter: I like to use salted butter to add in just the right amount of salt and flavor to this cookie crust. If you only have salted butter, add in a pinch of fine sea salt.
Tools & Equipment
There are two main tools you'll need for this gingersnap crust recipe:
- Food Processor: This helps nicely crush the gingersnap cookies into a fine crumb for the crust.
- Pie Pan: This recipe uses a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. You could also use a 10 inch (25 cm) pan for a more shallow pie.
Alternatively, if you don't have access to a food processor, you can finely crush up your gingersnaps by beating them with a wooden rolling pin. Just be sure to take your time and get a very fine crumb. Then, mix all of the ingredients together with a mixing bowl and rubber spatula.
How To Make This Recipe
Making gingersnap crust from scratch is a fairly simple process. You can use these steps for other crumb crusts as well!
1. Place In Food Processor
Add the gingersnap cookies and brown sugar to a high powered food processor.
2. Pulse Into Fine Crumbs
Pulse on high speed until the gingersnaps and brown sugar have turned into a sand-like texture. You want a happy medium between too fine and no large chunks remaining.
3. Stream In Melted Butter
Next, grab the melted butter and begin streaming it into the food processor while it's running at low speed.
4. Blend Until Well Combined
It only takes a few minutes for the melted butter to become incorporated with the crumb mixture. You can check that the consistency is correct by pressing a little bit between your fingers. It should hold together when you do this.
If the crust appears dry, add additional melted butter (1 tablespoon at a time), until you achieve the desired consistency.
5. Hand Press Into A Pie Pan
Lightly press the crust into the bottom and sides of an ungreased pie plate using your hands.
It seems tempting to grease the pie plate to ensure nothing sticks, but it adds too much fat to the crust. Be sure to leave the pie pan ungreased.
6. Firmly Press Crust In Place
This step is important, so don't skip it! Using a small dry measuring cup, firmly press the bottom and sides of the crust in place. This compacts the crumbs and helps give you a stable pie crust.
7. Choose How To Set The Crust
Now, it's time to either bake or freeze the gingersnap crust.
For pie that needs to be oven baked: Bake for 7 - 10 minutes until the crust is set and has lightly browned around the edges. Allow crust to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Add desired filling and bake as directed.
For no-bake, cream or chiffon pies: Freeze for 15 minutes until the crust is set. Add desired no-bake filling and chill as directed.
There are many different pie, tart, and cheesecake fillings that would pair nicely with this gingersnap cookie crust. Here are some of my favorite filling ideas:
- No bake cheesecake
- Sweet potato
- Key lime
- Chocolate tart
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Double check that you did not grease the pie pan. You need to leave the pie pan ungreased or it will add too much oil since there is already melted butter included in the recipe.
Depending on the type of gingersnap cookies you use, the crust made need some additional melted butter to help everything stick together.
The crust should hold together when you press it in between your fingers. You may need to add additional melted butter (1 tablespoon at a time) to achieve this consistency.
If you're using this crust recipe for a no-bake pie or cheesecake, you can omit baking it in the oven. Rather, freeze the crust for 15 minutes before adding your desired filling.
Other Pie Related Recipes
3 Ingredient Gingersnap Pie Crust
- Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Add gingersnap cookies and brown sugar to a food processor. Pulse until a coarse crumb has formed. Stream in melted butter while the food processor is running at low speed. Blend until the butter is well combined and a sand-like texture has formed. The crust should easily hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it doesn't, add more melted butter 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time until it holds together.
- Place the crust in an ungreased 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Press the crust evenly onto the bottom and sides of the pan using your hands. Then, go over the bottom and sides of the crust using the bottom of a small dry measuring cup to firmly and evenly pat the crust in place.
- Bake for 7 - 10 minutes until the crust is set and has lightly browned around the edges. Allow crust to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
- Add desired pie filling and bake as directed.
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