Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes: pastry for a two-crust

    9 inch

    pie

Appears in

KEEPS: At least 2 days refrigerated, 3 months frozen.
INGREDIENTS MEASURE WEIGHT
cold volume ounces grams
unsalted butter, divided 12 tablespoons 6 ounces 170 grams
bleached all-purpose flour 1⅔ cups (dip and sweep method) 8.25 ounces 234 grams
salt teaspoon
cream cheese (chilled) 3-ounce package 4.5 ounces 128 grams
ice water 2 tablespoons

Method

Divide the butter into two parts: 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) and 9 tablespoons (4.5 ounces). Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes, keeping the two parts separate. Wrap each portion with plastic wrap (preferably Saran brand) and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Food Processor Method

Place the flour and salt in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the smaller amount of butter cubes and the cream cheese and process for about 15 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining butter cubes and process for 4 to 6 seconds or until the remaining pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Do not overprocess or crust will not be flaky.

Add the ice water and pulse 4 times. The dough will be in moist fine particles which appear dry but should hold together when pinched with the fingers. Dump the mixture into a plastic bag and press the outside of the bag until the dough holds together. Knead the dough briefly in the bag until you can form a smooth ball.

Remove the dough from the bag and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough with plastic wrap and flatten it into a disc. Refrigerate it for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Hand Method

Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour, the first addition into coarse meal, the second into small peas just as with the food processor method. When adding the ice water, sprinkle it on, tossing the mixture lightly with a fork. Use your hands to gather the dough together and knead it briefly on the counter until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into two equal parts, wrap each piece with plastic wrap and flatten it into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

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