Recipe courtesy of Paula Haney

The Hoosier Mama Crumb Shell

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: One 9-inch pie shell
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1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham crackers)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (graham cracker crumbs and sugar).
  2. Pour in the melted butter.
  3. Rub the butter into the crumbs with your fingers, until the mixture holds together when a small amount is squeezed in the palm of your hand.
  4. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees F.
  5. Lightly brush a 9-inch (22.5-cm) pie tin with melted butter.
  6. Place the crumb mixture in the pie tin and press it firmly into an even layer across the bottom and up the side of the pie tin.
  7. Place a second 9-inch (22.5-cm) disposable aluminum pie tin directly on top of the crumb mixture. Press firmly on the bottom of the pie tin, working your way out from the center so that you smooth the crumbs from the center of the pie tin toward the side.
  8. Work your way around the tin, starting where the bottom of the tin meets the side and working your way up. Some of the crumb mixture will be pushed up over the edge of the first tin. Press it back down around the top of the disposable pie tin. This will form a rim.
  9. Remove the second pie tin and fill in any bare or thin spots. Use the second pie tin to tamp down your patches.
  10. Place the finished shell on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow the shell to cool slightly before filling.
  11. The unbaked pie shell can be stored in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The baked shell can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days¿do not refrigerate. We've found that crumb shells freeze

Cook’s Note

You can also use homemade or store-bought gingersnaps to make this shell. If you are using homemade, be sure to let them dry out a bit before grinding them into crumbs.