Flaky and Tender Pie Crust

This flaky and tender pie crust is an incredibly easy, never fail pie crust recipe that boasts butter galore for flakiness as well as cream cheese for tenderness.

An uncooked pie crust rolled out on a floured surface with a rolling pin alongside

This flaky and tender pie crust makes us thankful. And not just for pie. We’re also thankful for Rose Levy Beranbaum, who created this recipe. It’s easy enough for beginners and never fails to turn out a crust that’s both buttery and tender, which can be a tricky balance to achieve. And yet this recipe ensures you do so with ease. Originally published March 20, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Flaky and Tender Pie Crust

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes enough for 1 pie


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  • 1 1/3 cups plus 4 teaspoons pastry flour* (or substitute bleached all-purpose flour), plus more for the work surface
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, preferably Rumford or another brand that doesn’t contain aluminum, which has a bitter taste
  • One (3-ounce) package cream cheese, chilled and cut into 4 portions
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 oz), frozen and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar


  • 1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder and process until blended. Add the cream cheese and process until a coarse dough forms. Add the butter and pulse just until crumbs of dough that are the size of peanuts form. Add the cream and vinegar and pulse until the chunks of butter are the size of peas.
  • 2. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Place each hand in a latex glove or a large resealable plastic bag and gently press the dough until it holds together in a smooth, flat disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes before rolling it out according to your recipe.

Pastry Flour Substitute

  • If you don’t have pastry flour, to achieve the same tenderness in your pie crust, use a blend of bleached all-purpose flour and cake flour. For every cup of pastry flour required, use 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour.

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  1. I would love to try the flaky and tender pie crust but it bothers me a bit that the recipe calls for a 3 oz. package of cream cheese. I haven’t seen those in stores for years! I know I could divide an 8 oz. package, but really?

    1. Diane, how about this? Since the recipe makes just one crust, and the holidays are upon us, double the recipe! That way you can make two single-crust pies or one double-crust pie. Right now I have 6 crusts in my freezer just waiting to be devoured by New Year’s Eve.

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