Peanut Graham Cracker Crumb Crust

Here’s how you make a graham cracker crust using peanuts, my crust of choice for a number of creamy pies, notably the Creamy Peanut Butter Cup Pie. There are several key steps to making a memorable crumb crust like this, starting with the consistency of the actual crumbs.

In order to handle the crumbs with authority, they need to have just enough packability. I’ve made recipes where the crumbs are so dry and unpackable that you can’t get them to stick together or adhere to the sides of the pan. Bummer.

If you ever run into this situation, moisten your hands under running water then, without shaking them dry, immediately put them into your crumb mixture and start working it, rubbing well with your fingers. The little bit of moisture that stayed on your hands will make the crumbs more packable.

Also, be sure to butter your pan because the butter will give your crumbs something to grab onto.

Most importantly, be sure to spread your crumbs out, evenly and loosely, and bank them up the sides before you start pressing them into place. This will prevent you from making them too thick in some spots, too thin in others. Make the crust evenly thick all around.

Do all this, and you can call yourself a regular crumb crust ninja.

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

Peanut Graham Cracker Crumb Crust


  • 3/4 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Lightly butter your pie pan of choice and set it aside.
  2. Combine the peanuts, brown sugar, and flour in your food processor and process until the nuts are very finely chopped.
  3. Put the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the ground nuts. Add the melted butter and mix well, first with a large fork then switch to your hands and rub them thoroughly between your fingers. Press the crumbs together: they should have a slight amount of packability. If not, moisten your hands under running water, to dampen, then work the crumbs again.
  4. Spread the crumbs evenly and loosely in the pie pan, banking them up the sides as well. When they're evenly spread, press them into the pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 325°.
  5. Bake the pie shell on the center oven rack for 10 minutes. It should not begin to brown. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before filling.