This Vanilla Wafer Crust recipe is such an easy and delicious crust option! This crust uses store-bought nilla wafers, as well as nuts for a unique twist on this classic crumb crust. It takes less than 5 minutes to put together and can be used for a no-bake pie filling.
Walnut and Nilla Wafer Crust
Sometimes, you just need a simple option when it comes to pie crust and this Nilla Wafer Crust is the perfect one! It's not only incredibly easy but also tastes better than anything you could purchase pre-made. This recipe has a twist by adding in nuts, though this is optional. Best of all: It takes less than 5 minutes to put together. You can either bake it briefly for a nice toasted effect or freeze it for a no-bake pie option! It’s perfect for so many pies, so let's get to making it!
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- Nuts (optional, but recommended)
What is the Best Way to Press the Crumbs into the Pie Plate?
Forget everything you know about pressing in a homemade crumb crust into your pie plate because we’ve all been doing it wrong! While logic might tell you to place the crumb mixture in the middle of your pie plate and start pressing it in at that point, that method actually makes it messy and difficult to get an even crumb base all the way up the sides. The easier and faster way to do it is to start forming the edges of the pie crust first, and then press the crumb mixture down into the bottom of the pie plate.
Here are the steps:
- Gather the crumb mixture loosely up the sides of the plate until all the edges are covered with crumbs.
- Form the top edges of the crust and neaten them up by pressing them together with two fingers. It may feel like you won’t have enough crumbs to fit the bottom of the pie at this point, but you will.
- Start packing down the sides of the crumb crust with your thumb in an even layer. As you do this, start moving the excess crumb mixture toward the center of the pie plate.
- Continue packing the crumbs from the outer edges towards the middle until you have established a single layer.
- With your fingers, a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup, pack down the crumbs until everything is tight and even.
To Bake or Not to Bake
Par-baking the crust:
When you par-bake a crumb crust, you are melting the added sugar which then helps bond the crust together. Baking it results in a crispy crust, with a nice caramelized flavor. I prefer this method and will always bake it if I can. If you are planning to bake a pie that will be served from the refrigerator or will be left out of the refrigerator for more than 20 minutes before serving, I recommend you par-bake the crust to ensure it holds together.
Freezing the crust:
Freezing the crust works because the melted butter becomes solidified and bonds the crust together. The sugar might melt slightly from the warmth of the butter, but without the par-bake, the sugar doesn’t melt enough to act as the bonding agent here. While freezing the crust is certainly easier than having to preheat an oven and par-bake the crust, it is not as sturdy as the baked version. I only recommend freezing the crust if you will be serving your pie when very cold. Otherwise, you’ll find your crumb crust to be very crumbly!
Troubleshooting a Nilla Wafer Crust
Cookies can vary from brand to brand. If for any reason your crumb crust is extremely dry, you can add 1 tablespoon of melted butter–one tablespoon at a time–to the crumbs until they are evenly moistened. Alternatively, if your mixture is too wet and it is hard to work with, add more cookie crumbs until it is just moistened enough for the crumbs to stick together easily.
More Crust Recipes:
- Oreo Cookie Pie Crust
- Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Crust
- Pecan Gingersnap Crust
Use this crust with these pie fillings:Print
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