This Cream Cheese Crust proves a point I like to make– there’s no great secret to making good pastry dough. Once you have done it a few times you’ll recognize the right balance of wet to dry and the elasticity that makes the dough easy to work without getting too dense. But, no matter how many times I make that promise I still see fear in the eyes of the novice baker. I will usually try and talk them down from the pie precipice with this recipe because it’s so forgiving. It’s easy as pie (Sorry, I just couldn’t let that low-ball pass me by).
- 6 ounce cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 5 ounce high-fat, European-style unsalted butter (at room temperature) about 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream (or more as needed)
- 312 gram all-purpose flour (about 2 ½ cups scooped & leveled, plus more as needed)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Put cream cheese, butter and cream into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until well combined and fluffy, about 20 seconds. Add flour and salt. Pulse mixture 5 or 6 times. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Process an additional 15 or 20 seconds, until dough just comes together and begins to pull cleanly away from the sides of the bowl in jagged clumps. If this doesn’t happen within 15 or 20 seconds add another few teaspoons cream as needed.
Move the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and gently knead 2 or 3 times. If dough seems quite sticky or at all wet sprinkle in another few teaspoons flour. Give dough another couple of quick, gentle kneads. Divide dough in half. Shape into two discs about 5-inches round and 3/4-inch thick, or as indicated in individual recipes. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days) to distribute moisture evenly, or freeze up to 1 month.