Pretzel Pie Crust

I get it. Some people have an aversion to making pie crusts. They’re worried about which fat to use; some recipes insist on butter for flavor, others advocate vegetable shortening as the key to success, and lard has its fans. Then there are the processes of rolling out the dough, and baking it, that makes people pause when they want to make pie.

I understand all these things (and for the record, my preference is always butter), but and it’s nice to have a crust that you can transfer into a pie plate or pin, press it in with your hands (no rolling!), and fill with whatever kind of filling that you want, including chocolate, lemon, pecan-chocolate, pecan-ginger, or the one shown here – salted honey pie.

This pretzel-based crust is also easily adaptable to gluten-free diets by swapping out regular pretzels with gluten-free pretzels, so there’s no excuse not to make it.

Pretzel Pie Crust
Print Recipe
One 9-inch (23cm) crust
The mixture will be a bit crumbly before baking, when you're pressing it into the pie pan, but will form a nice crust after it's baked and cooled.I grind the crumbs in a food processor, but I don't mind if they're not too fine. A little extra texture is sometimes appreciated. If you don't have a food processor, you can put the pretzels in a sturdy zip-top freezer bag, seal it (expressing the air out of the bag as you do), then running a rolling pin over the pretzels to crush them.
1 1/4 cups (140g) pretzel crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons (85g) melted unsalted butter, plus additional butter for preparing the pan
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly butter a pie plate or pan with butter.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are saturated with the butter and everything is moistened and evenly mixed.
3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie plate or pan and use the heel of your hand to press the crust mixture across the bottom of the pans and up the sides.
4. Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until it's slightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

Storage: This crust can be refrigerated for up to five days, baked or unbaked. It can also be frozen for up to two months.


A delicious crust to use for any open-face pie!

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10 comments

  • Susan
    April 23, 2019 10:09pm

    Please give the recipe for he salted honey pie filling, too! Thank you Reply

  • Shelley
    April 24, 2019 3:22am

    This crust would be so good with a Key lime pie. Salty, sweet and tangy! Reply

  • daniel kimerling
    April 24, 2019 5:10pm

    In the past i’ve tried to make graham cracker crust with gluten free graham crackers and didn’t work. Any tips on how to make this crust work using GF pretzels? Reply

  • Tobie
    April 24, 2019 9:30pm

    I will try this next time. I made a similar crust when I made the Atlantic Beach Pie from the NYT. It’s with saltines. And actually it was very good. Reply

  • Alison
    April 25, 2019 3:52am

    I have been imagining a pretzel pie crust for some time but was afraid to experiment (the ginger snap crust attempt was an abject failure). So once again, thank you David! This will come in handy. Reply

  • A. B.
    April 28, 2019 2:09pm

    Do you think this crust would work with a traditional buttermilk pie? Reply

    • April 29, 2019 10:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not made a buttermilk pie but imagine the filling is quite liquidy (?) so am not sure if that would saturate the crust and make it too wet during baking. If you try it, let me know how it turns out, but my guess would be to stick with whatever crust you usually use for a filling that wet. Reply

  • Rivkah
    May 16, 2019 11:40am

    This crust was so easy and so so tasty….burnty caramelly. Quick too! I burnt the top crumbs a bit so have to watch out next time. Up there with carrot rapée salad in terms of how much this will get used. The filling recipe was also so good. Loved by all and a small sliver was enough! Reply

  • Panpan
    May 19, 2019 4:13pm

    I’ve loved this crust with the chocolate tart ! Do you think that crust can unmold easily or is it better to bake it in a glass dish and leave it there? Thanks!! Reply

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