Nov 1, 2010

Recipe: Cream Cheese Pie Dough

I've been making my own pie dough for almost a year now, because although store-bought pie dough is convenient, the cheap ones have hydrogenated oils on the ingredient list. I followed the recipe in Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything,which is fine but not great. This cream cheese pie dough is great, and it's going to be my first choice for pie dough from now on. I've adapted the recipe from The Joy of Cooking.I made a double batch of the recipe below and am waiting for cooler weather to make some homemade pop tarts. I always use a food processor to make my pastry dough, but you can always use two knives or a pastry blender.

Cream Cheese Pie Dough (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
Makes 2 9-inch crusts

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cold half and half, heavy cream, or milk

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse for a few seconds to mix well.

2. Sprinkle the butter and cream cheese over the flour mixture. Pulse for short bursts until butter and cream cheese are the size of small peas.

3. Remove the lid and pour two-third of the half and half (six tablespoons) evenly over the flour mixture. Replace the lid and pulse for short bursts until the liquid is absorbed. Check the mixture to see if it clumps together. If it doesn't, add additional half and half one tablespoon at a time.

4. Once mixture clumps together, turn half of it out onto a floured surface and knead just enough to bring it together into a ball. Form into a disc or square, depending on what you intend to do with it. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to two days, or freeze for up to two weeks.

The photo is of the dough being made into chicken hand pies - recipe to come!

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