Cream cheese pie crust is easier because it’s more forgiving. The cream cheese keeps it tender so you don’t have to be quite so delicate with it. This recipe makes enough for 2, so you’ll have enough to freeze one for later.
With a homemade pie crust in the freezer, whipping up a tasty treat for drop-in company or an effortless brunch on a lazy Sunday will be a snap. Roll the extra crust up between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper, and slip it into a freezer bag. I store mine in the freezer door where it is less likely to get smashed or lost among the shelves.–Asha Gomez
Cream Cheese Pie Crust
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz) unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
- 7 ounces cream cheese* chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup very cold water
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, mixing until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.
- Add the cream cheese, mix until the cream cheese is incorporated and starts forming a shaggy dough. Gradually drizzle just enough cold water over the dough so that the dough clears the side of the bowl. You may only need a little bit of the water.
- Form dough into 2 flat disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Roll each crust into 10-inch (25-cm) rounds. Use as directed in recipe.
*What makes cream cheese pie crust different?The fat and dairy in cream cheese inhibit gluten formation, which is what makes pie crust tough and less-than-flaky. In this recipe, the addition of baking powder helps keep the dough tender after baking, as well. The cream cheese also works a little miracle when the crust is being baked–it helps to avoid that dreaded shrinking that can happen with all butter crusts.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This cream cheese pie crust is PERFECT. It is the easiest, most forgiving pie dough I've ever worked with. The recipe makes enough for two, and I used the second crust for an apple pie to good effect, so you can use it for either sweet or savory applications.
Originally published August 8, 2021