• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 Servings

Perfect Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Pies

 Ingredients List

  • 12 tb Unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 2/3 c Bleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 ts Salt
  • 4 1/2 oz Cream cheese, (chilled)
  • 2 tb Ice water



Divide the butter into two parts: 3 tablespoons and 9 tablespoons. Cut the
butter into 1/2-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 inot a disc. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up
to 2 days.

~ Saran Wrap is the ideal plastic wrap for rolling the dough because it
lies very flat.

~ Don't fold the dough when transferring it to the pie plate because it
is likely to crack a little. Rolling it loosely around the rolling pin
works best.

The secret to success is incorporating the cream cheese and part of the
butter into the flour, which keeps the flour from absorbing too much water
and forming gluten, which would make the crust tough. The remainder of the
butter is incorporated in larger pieces, which serve to separate the
layers, resulting in the desired flakiness.

Very little water is needed because the cream cheese is 51 percent water.
The addition of a small amount of water activates a little gluten,
strengthening the structure just enough to prevent cracking (which would
result in leaking of the filling) when the crust is baked. This pie crust
does not shrink or distort as much because there is less gluten development
than usual.

Flattening the dough into a disc before refrigerating makes it easier to
roll without cracking. The dough is rested to relax the gluten, making it
less elastic and easier to roll. Chilling firms the butter, preventing
sticking during rolling and the need for extra flour, which would toughen

For a two-crust pie, I divide the dough in half because I like the top
crust, which gets the crispest and most delicious, to be thicker than the
bottom crust. (The bottom crust is rolled 1 inch larger.)

Makes: pastry for a two crust 9-inch pie

KEEPS: At least 2 days refrigerated, 3 months if frozen.

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