Last updated on August 5th, 2023.
If you’re a pie lover or an avid baker, try the indulgent and flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust! This fun twist on the traditional pie crust adds a creamy richness and a slight tanginess to your favorite pie recipes.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into what makes this pie crust recipe pie crust so unique, the simple ingredients and tools you’ll need, and a visual step-by-step guide on how to make it. Get ready to take your pies to the next level with this delicious crust!
What is Cream Cheese Pie Crust, and Why Should You Bake It?
Cream cheese crust is a variation of the classic all-butter pie crust that incorporates cream cheese into the dough. The addition of cream cheese enhances the texture and flavor, making a more tender, buttery crust with a subtle tanginess. This crust pairs exceptionally well with sweet and savory fillings, making it a versatile option for baking. Whether you’re making a fruit pie, custard pies, or savory quiches, this recipe will elevate your culinary creations.
- Bleached all-purpose flour. Bleach flour is always a great option when baking pies; the low protein and high starches content are ideal for tender pie crust.
- Cold Cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes. Do not use skim cream cheese.
- Unsalted cold butter, cubed
- Baking powder. A dash of baking powder will enhance the tender texture, but it is optional.
- Cold Heavy Cream. Or ice water.
- Apple cider vinegar
You can make this crust recipe using a food processor (easiest way), stand mixer, bowl, and pastry cutter. The steps are all the same,
- Food processor or pastry cutter
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
How to Make Cream Cheese Pie Crust
Time needed: 20 minutes
Below is a detailed description, including a visual guide to mastering this Crust Recipe.
- Prepare the ingredients
Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder into an airtight container or a plastic bag, mix to blend, then place in the freezer for about 30 seconds. The freezing step is optional but recommended. The colder the ingredients are, the more tender the crust is.
Cut the butter into one-inch pieces, wrap it in a plastic bag, and freeze for 30 minutes.
Place the flour mixture in the food processor and pulse about five times. Add the cream cheese and pulse about five times until the cream cheese is the size of large peas. Or, place the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix using a fork to blend and a pastry blender to cut the cream cheese.
- Add The Butter
Add the butter and pulse about five times, then add the cream and apple cider vinegar and pulse five more times. The mixture should look like coarse sand and come together when you press it with your hand. Do the same with a pastry cutter; before adding the liquids, ensure no uncoated flour. Use a rubber spatula or a fork to mix in the liquids.
Place the dough mixture over a large piece of plastic wrap at the center, then press the dough into a ball using the ends of the plastic wrap.
Divide the dough, wrap each part with plastic wrap, shape it into a disc, and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
Follow the baking instructions for your specific pie recipe. The crust will usually bake at the same temperature and time as a regular pie crust. Once baked, you’ll have a golden, flaky, and utterly delectable pie ready to be devoured!
- Ensure your cream cheese and butter are cold when incorporating them into the dough for the best results. Hard fats create a flakier crust.
- Avoid overworking the dough. A slightly crumbly texture is normal and will yield a tender crust.
- Best not to use your hands when pressing the dough. Our hands contain moisture and might warm the butter and cream cheese, use plastic wrap to press the dough and shape it into a disk.
- Roll the dough over a lightly floured surface; too much flour will make the crust chewy.
- Do not throw your pie crust scraps; use them to make these Homemade pie crust cookies.
- Make sure to use pie weights when blind baking, and allow the crust to reach room temperature before adding the pie filling.
Uses for Cream Cheese Crust
This cream cheese crust opens up possibilities for your baking endeavors. Here are some delicious ideas:
- Classic Fruit Pies: Apple pie, cherry Galette, blueberry pie, or Fruit Galette with a cream cheese crust will make your taste buds sing.
- Creamy Custard Pies: Lemon meringue, coconut cream, or pumpkin pie.
- Savory pies and Quiches: Spinach and feta, bacon and cheddar, or mushroom quiches will be divine with the cream cheese crust.
- Hand Pies: like these Cherry hand pies or these Mini Apple Galettes
You can prepare the cream cheese crust and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from the fridge.
Cream cheese works best for this pie crust recipe because of its texture and tanginess. While you could experiment with other cheeses, it may alter the crust’s consistency and taste.
Yes, you can freeze pies made with cream cheese crust. Once baked, allow the pie to cool completely, wrap it well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
You can, but note that different brands add different amounts of salt, so the best way to control the flavor is by using unsalted butter.
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Cream Cheese Pie Crust Recipe
Tender and flaky crust with cream cheese
- 2 1/3 Cups Bleached all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 Cup Cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces (113g)
- 3/4 Cup Unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch pieces (170g)
- 3 tablespoons Heavy cream (or 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water) (45ml)
- 1 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, place it in a bag or a container and freeze for 30 minutes.
Place the butter in the freezer for 30 minutes
In a bowl of a food processor, place the flour mixture and pulse five times.
Add the cold cream cheese and pulse for five minutes, until the cream cheese is the size of large peas.
Add the frozen butter and pulse five times, then add the cream (or water), vinegar, and pulse five times.
Check the dough by pressing it with your hand, if it comes together, it is ready. if not, pulse once or twice more.
Place the mixture over a large piece of plastic wrap, then press it into a ball while holding the ends of the wrap.
Divide the dough into two, wrap each part with plastic wrap, shape it into discs, and refrigerate for a minimum of 60 minutes or up to three days.
- This recipe yields a double 9″ pie crust that can be cut in half.
- Store the unbaked crust in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Follow the recipe instruction for the assembling and baking temperature and time.
- To bake pie crust treats, roll the crust over a lightly floured surface into 1/8-inch thickness, cut using a cookie cutter, brush with egg, and bake the crust for 12-15 minutes at 425F (220C).
- Make sure the ingredients are cold before making the dough.