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Easy Cream Cheese Pie Dough

Serves: Makes enough dough for 9 turnovers or 8 dumplings, or 1 (9-or 10-inch) pie shell

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups (7½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (omit for savory pastry)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cold cream cheese, cut into 9 pieces


Procedures:

A nearly foolproof alternative to flaky dough, cream cheese dough can be made in the food processor in a couple of minutes. Rich cream cheese takes the place of water and helps to bring the dough together. The high proportion of fat means it's practically impossible to toughen the pastry. The dough’s tangy flavor and flaky texture accent the fruit fillings in turnovers, though you could also use the dough for pies, either sweet or savory.

    Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend. Add the cold butter pieces and process for 8 to 10 seconds, until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the cream cheese and pulse 30 times (1-second pulses), or until large, shaggy clumps of dough form.

    Turn the shaggy mass out onto a work surface and knead gently 2 or 3 times to create a cohesive dough. If you are making turnovers or dumplings, flatten into a 7-inch square (about ¾ inch thick) and wrap in plastic. (For a pie, shape the dough into a ¾-inch thick round.) Chill for 30 minutes.

    Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. If you are making turnovers or dumplings, roll into a square about ⅛ inch thick. Use a chef's knife to trim to a 15-inch square. Use the ruler to mark 5-inch increments along all sides of the dough. With the ruler as a guide, cut the dough into 9 (5-inch) squares.

    Storing: Place rolled-out squares between sheets of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You may also freeze them, layered between sheets of parchment, wrapped in plastic and sealed in a resealable plastic freezer bag or airtight container, for up to 2 months.



Cindy Mushet and Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking (Andrews McMeel)

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