This Cream Cheese Pie Crust has only 5 ingredients, needs no added liquid, and produces a tender, flaky crust. Sound easy? It is.
I have to admit, making pie crusts is not my favorite thing. I find it intimidating – until now. I’ve spent many years trying to come up with the perfect pie crust. I’ve tried many recipes out there when my own didn’t satisfy me only to find that I wasn’t satisfied with any of those. It’s the uncertainty of how much water or which type of fat to use or even worse, rolling out the dough only to find it cracks and splits on you. You basically end up with a mess. I ended up pressing it all in the pie plate trying to mend the broken pieces. Then it shrunk when I baked it. I gave up on pie crusts for a while. I just didn’t make pie that required anything but a graham cracker crust.
But Thanksgiving is around the corner and I am going to make pies. Yes, I could buy a ready-made pie crust. Some of them are really good. This has been a challenge that has beaten me until now. I have finally come up with an easy, delicious, pie crust. There’s no fancy stuff, no liquor, no ice water that can range from 4 tablespoons to 1/2 cup, no special flours, and no real skill needed. I mean, hey, if I can do it…
I use a food processor, throw in 5 ingredients, and pulse. That’s it. Five ingredients. No water. No uncertainty. Sound good? Another great thing? Rolling it out does not require additional flour.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of pictures in this post. I wanted to make it easy for you to follow. I also try to show some tricks I picked up while making this dough that I would like to share with you.
With this dough, pulse until it starts to form into a ball.
Next, form the dough into a disc. Place on top of a piece of parchment paper.
Place another piece of parchment on top. Now roll until the dough is a few inches bigger than your pie plate.
I discovered when I started to roll, the paper started to slide around. So I placed a damp paper towel underneath the parchment and this prevented any sliding.
Another great thing about this dough? It doesn’t tear easily. The dough held up beautifully when transferred to the pie plate.
Peel off the top piece of parchment and fit the dough into the pie plate, pressing down gently.
Then peel off the other piece of parchment.
For the edges, fold them in underneath to double the thickness. Then you can pinch them together to make them look nice if you like. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always come out perfect for me because that requires patience. Ask my family. I seem to be lacking in that area.
Next, place a piece of parchment – same one you used for rolling – on top of the dough and fill in with pie weights or dried beans. Instead of placing in the fridge for an hour, I decided to place this in the freezer to set for 15 minutes while I preheat the oven. Of course, I had to empty an entire shelf to do this because unlike the cooks on TV that conveniently have an empty shelf, mine is pretty full with items.
After 15 minutes, place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. You now have a par-baked pie crust that can be used for your favorite pie.
Be happy, eat well…
- 4 ounces cream cheese cold and cubed
- 1 stick unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar*
- ½ teaspoon table salt
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and cream cheese.
Pulse until the dough begins to form a ball.
Place dough on top of a large piece of parchment. Place another piece on top. Roll dough out from center to edge until it is about 14 inches.
Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie dish. Fit the dough to the plate by pressing gently around the bottom rim and then up the sides.
Fold the overhang under then crimp the edges to decorate.
Place another piece of parchment on top - use the one for rolling - and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 25 minutes.
*For savory pies you can omit sugar.