Cream-Cheese Pastry

Preparation info

  • Enough for 2-crust

    9 inch

    pie
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

New York Times Menu Cookbook

New York Times Menu Cookbook

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1966

  • About

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    Method

    1. Beat the cream cheese and the butter in an electric mixer, or by hand, until very smooth and creamy.

    2. Gradually mix in the flour and salt with the mixer at low speed, or use a spatula or a fork to mix in the flour and salt. Knead the dough only until it just clings together.

      Cream-Cheese Pastry may be shaped into appetizer slices or turnovers with a variety of fillings.

    3. Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for three to four hours or overnight.

    4. If the dough has been in the refrigerator ovenight, let it stand at room temperature for at least thirty minutes before trying to roll it. Roll out the chilled pastry, one quarter at a time, on a lightly floured pastry cloth or between two sheets of wax paper according to one of the instructions given below.

    Slices

    Roll out one quarter of the dough into a rectangle (20 × 4 inches). The dough will be about one-eighth inch thick. Place one cup of one of the fillings (chicken filling and chicken-liver filling take especially well to this method of shaping) down the center of the strip in a sausage shape slightly flattened on top.

    Draw one of the edges over the filling and press slightly. Moisten the other edge with egg white and draw up to seal the filling in. Roll the filled pastry onto a cookie sheet with the seam side down. Chill for at least one hour. Cut the roll slantwise into one-inch slices and separate slightly. Brush with lightly beaten egg mixed with one tablespoon of water and bake in a preheated moderate oven (325°F.) for twenty-five to thirty minutes, or until lightly browned. Alternatively, the slices may be frozen and then baked, while still frozen, for thirty minutes, until browned and heated through.

    Turnovers

    Roll out one quarter of the pastry until it is about one-eighth inch thick. Cut into three-inch rounds or squares. Place one-half teaspoon of one of the fillings in the middle of each round or square and fold over to make half-moons or triangles, sealing the edges with egg white or water. Pinch or flute the edges. Place the turnovers on an ungreased baking sheet and chill or freeze before baking. Brush the surface with lightly beaten egg and make a pinpoint hole to allow steam to escape. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (325°F.) for about thirty minutes, or until lightly browned.

    Each quarter of the dough will make about a dozen pieces. Smaller rounds (two inches) can be stacked atop each other with the filling in between to give round shapes.