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Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust

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Ingredients

Pastry for a 9-inch pie shell or a 9 1/2-or 10-by 1-inch tart shell
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Pastry for a 9-inch lattice pie, a 9-inch deep-dish pie, a 10-inch pie shell, or a 12- to 14-inch free-form tart
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 8 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
Pastry for a two-crust 9-inch pie
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 8 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 12 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 ounce cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze until frozen solid, at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine.

Set the bag aside.

Cut the cream cheese into 3 or 4 pieces and add it to the flour.

Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the frozen butter cubes and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea.

(Toss with a fork to see it better.)

Remove the cover and add the water and vinegar.

Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas.

The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together.

Spoon it into the plastic bag.

(For a double-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.

(For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds : one third — use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest of the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)

HAND METHOD Place a medium mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

Cut the butter into small (about 3/4-inch) cubes.

Wrap it in plastic warp and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the cream cheese adn rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.

Spoon the mixture, together with the cold butter, into a reclosable gallon-size freezer bag.

Expel any air from the bag and close it.

Use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into thin flakes.

Place the bag in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or until the butter is very firm.

Transfer the mixture to the chilled bowl, scraping the sides of the bag.

Set the bag aside.

Sprinkle the mixture with the water and vinegar, tossing lightly with a rubber spatula.

Spoon it into the plastic bag.

(For a two-crust pie, it is easiest to divide the mixture in half at this point.)

Holding both ends of the bag opening with your fingers, knead the mixture by alternately pressing it, from the outside of the bag, with the knucles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs), and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.

(For a pie shell and lattice, divide it in a ratio of two thirds : one third — use about 9.5 ounces for the shell and the rest for the lattice, flattening the smaller part into a rectangle.)