When it comes to pie crust, it’s easy to stick with the traditional version you know and love, which typically involves the debate of whether to use butter or shortening, whether to use water or vodka for ultimate flakiness, or whether to par-bake or put the whole thing in the oven in one go. This one does away with most of those queries. Forget butter or shortening and instead use this: cream cheese.
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) European-style butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Place cream cheese and butter in food processor and pulse for 10 seconds, then pour in cream and pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until fluffy.
Scrape down sides and add in flour and salt, then pulse again until mixture comes together and starts pulling away from the food processor. If necessary, add 1-2 more teaspoons heavy cream until dough comes together.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth, then divide dough in half.
Shape halves into discs and wrap both tightly in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
Remove from fridge, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness (on a floured surface, if still a little sticky) and transfer to pie plate.
To bake: preheat oven to 375º F and par-bake, using pie weights, for 11 minutes, then remove weights and bake until golden brown. Or, if filling immediately, bake for 45-50 minutes, covering edges with foil to prevent crust from burning.