Cream Cheese

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Perfectly Flaky & Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust

August  2, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes dough for a 9-inch standard pie crust
Author Notes

This recipe was published in Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible. Here, we have a streamlined version, adapted by Amanda Hesser and published in A New Way to Dinner. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/3 cups (165 grams) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, cold, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or water (Rose uses heavy cream, Amanda uses water)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  1. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the cream cheese to the flour. Process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the butter and pulse until none of the butter is larger than the size of a pea.
  2. Now add the water and vinegar. Pulse until most of the butter is reduced to the size of small peas, and the mixture holds together when pressed between two fingers. Pour the mixture onto a work surface, knead it together and press into a flat disk.
  3. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight.
  4. Roll out your dough and transfer it to the pie plate. Rose recommends covering it and refrigerating it again: It's ideal to chill it—try for overnight, but even a half-hour or an hour will make a difference—before filling it. You can also bake the pie dough directly from frozen: Chill the dough disc, roll it out, place it in the pie tin, then freeze the whole thing. (Don't put a Pyrex or ceramic dish directly on the oven rack—use a baking sheet to diffuse the heat and ensure your pan does not crack).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Maxine Alchek
    Maxine Alchek
  • Ludy Gayle
    Ludy Gayle
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Smaug

15 Reviews

runnerfemme May 21, 2023
I am no stranger to pie pastry -- I've made a lot and tried a lot. This recipe is hands down the best I have ever worked with. Flawless. Easy to roll out and shatteringly flaky. I made a double recipe for a double crust pie. (I used 1/2 water 1/4 cream where it calls for water or cream.) Look no further. This recipe is it.
runnerfemme May 22, 2023
I mean to say 1/2 water and 1/2 cream (not 1/4 cream). Also I successfully blind baked the lower crust at 375 with pie weights for about 18 mins; removed the weights (and the parchment that I lined the pastry with before adding the weights); and then baked another 3 minutes to crisp up the bottom where the weights were. I cooled before adding my fruit filling. I then hen proceeded to add the top crust and baked at 425 for 20 minutes, reduced to 350 and baked for another 45 mins until toasty brown. Zero problems.
Maxine A. November 28, 2020
I've been experimenting with different pie crust recipes (tender vs flakey shortcrust, pate brisee, pate sucre, etc) for years and years, and for me this is the holy grail for a flakey shortcrust. OMG. Perfect. What every flakey shortcrust pastry longs to be. I used the food processor, and water (not cream), and I pulsed just until it's crumbly. I used 3 Tbsp ice water and 1 tsp cider vinegar, but really the amount of liquid depends on your flour, and the weather. Like Rose says, it helps if you have a feel for it. I dumped the crumbly mix on the counter -- didn't wait for it to totally come together in the food processor, because with pie crust you don't want to over-mix. Then I smooshed it into a disk and put in the fridge for at least an hour. A total dream to work with; didn't crack at all! After I lined the pan I popped it in the freezer for about 10 min before blind baking at 375* for at least 20 min (maybe more?), till golden. Even with the apple filling there was no soggy bottom. It was crisply laminated and the flavor was outrageously good. This was hands down the very best experience I have ever had making pie crust. The only reason I finally tried this was because I finally had some cream cheese in the fridge, and I'm grateful for it.
MilletteofSd September 14, 2023
Thank you for your excellent feedback. I”m willing to move forward as you have had no difficulties.
mwarner8900 June 30, 2020
I’m very much a beginner chef and this crust came out perfectly. Definitely going on my favorites list.
Ruth W. March 25, 2020
Hellooooooo . . . post is almost 4 years old, and three requests for OVEN TEMP and BAKING TIME (counting this one). Anyone?? Anyone?? I even visited another cooking website that features the same recipe, and no OVEN TEMP or BAKING TIME there either. ??? I'm trying 375° for 18 to 20 minutesl based on another recipe, but I don't know if that's correct.
Mary W. January 31, 2021
Detailed instructions for making/baking this pie crust in Food 52 post of recipe for “Quiche Any Way You Like It” by Emma Laperruque. Just google the recipe for your answer.
Rosalind P. December 26, 2022
A big flaw w
ith food 52. Questions go unanswered. They probably don't even read them. NOT a good vibe: we don't really care.
Tobie L. December 18, 2019
I made an apple pie with this crust for Thanksgiving. I found the crust very easy to handle. At the suggestion of a friend, I froze the butter before I put it in the food processor and it came out perfectly.
22jessi11 November 16, 2017
what Temperature and how long am I suppose to cook it??
22jessi11 November 16, 2017
what Temperature and how long am I suppose to cook it??
Ludy G. October 8, 2017
I am sorry, but I have been making pie crusts for 40 years, and this is, hands down, the worst one I have ever made. The dough didn't come together, no matter how much I kneaded it; I had to start spritzing it. It separated in the pie plate during cooking, and left large holes. The rim was horrible. Followed the directions to a tee, and didn't do anything wrong. I do not recommend trying this. So much work....for bad results.
Smaug August 16, 2018
I only made this recipe once. I didn't like it very much- too soft for my taste, mainly- but functionally it was great; easiest crust to handle that I've come across. I used an alternate method from her book, where the dough is mixed and assembled in a plastic bag- pretty bizarre, but it worked.
Dejanira C. October 13, 2016
Could you please add temperature and baking time? Thank you!
EllieinArecibo August 17, 2016
Delicious. I could definitely taste the slight tang of the cream cheese in the final pie and I loved it! By the end of step 2 the dough seemed too dry but I wrapped it up and it rolled out just fine later that day, so keep the faith.