Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cream Cheese Pastry Dough (Easy, forgiving, flaky and tender, too)

Cream Cheese Pastry Dough
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Yields enough dough for one-10" double-crust pie, or two- 10" single-crust pies, or 10 small pocket pies.

If you have trouble with traditional pastry dough I urge you to try this one, it's hard to mess up, and it can be made in the food processor in minutes. So simple-- the key is to just mix until blended, don't over process  the dough.

This recipe has been around for years; I believe it was originally meant for savory vegetable or meat pastries, but I like to use it for sweet things as well. It's that play of sweet filling and slightly salty crust that piques the flavors of both.  Most recently I used it for an Apple Crostada I made, it was delicious!


8 tablespoons butter (room temperature), unsalted if you wish - I use salted butter
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream),  no substitutes
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Additional all-purpose flour for rolling out the dough
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt (I use the full 1/2 teaspoon)

Place the butter, cream cheese, and cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Add the flour and salt to the bowl, pulse until just combined and dough just comes together in a mass.
Flour a work surface generously, turn the dough out onto the flour and divide into two equal portions. Shape two round discs from each portion and wrap each separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer before rolling out. Sometimes I make the dough a day ahead.
If the dough has chilled longer than an hour, take it from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling.  Process just until combined and the dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Flatten each into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out so it becomes easier to work with.
When ready to roll the dough, flour a work surface generously and completely flour a rolling pin. Working with one dough disk at a time, begin rolling from center of dough to outside edge, lift dough turn 1/4 turn making sure the work surface remains well floured so the dough doesn't stick. Continue rolling from center to edge of dough and turning dough 1/4 of a turn each time until dough is desired thickness.
Form pastry as desired for your chosen recipe. This dough looks especially pretty if brushed lightly with an egg wash, or heavy cream before baking. It adds a nice sheen to the finished product, but is an optional step.
If you try it, I hope you enjoy!
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