Cream Cheese Pie Crust with Thyme

An easy pie crust with a slight tang to it, I like to use this with my chicken pot pie recipe. It can also be made without the thyme for sweet recipes. The butter should be very cold. I cube it, then put it back in the fridge about 10 minutes to chill. Also the cream cheese warms up quickly so don’t cube it until you prep your mise en place. You can make this by hand, but if you have a food processor, it makes speedy work. This recipe will make two 9″ double pie crusts. Divide and freeze, well wrapped, what you don’t need for a quick pie later.

INGREDIENTS:

568 g flour
17 g salt
5 g baking powder
3 g dried thyme
340 g butter, cold + cubed
256 g cream cheese, cold + cubed
56 g heavy cream
28 g cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and dried thyme together in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to aerate.
  2. Add the cold butter and cream cheese all at once. Pulse until the butter is pea-sized.
  3. Add half the heavy cream and half the vinegar to the flour mixture. Pulse 2 times. Add the rest of the heavy cream and vinegar and pulse 2-4 more times until everything is just starting to come together, but is still loose.
  4. Place the dough on a work surface and gather to combine. Flatten it until it is about 3 cm/ 1 in thick.
  5. Fold the dough over twice like you are folding a letter, wrap in plastic wrap, and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

Banana Pudding Pie with Speculaas Crust

I love this Banana Pudding Pie with Speculaas Crust. It is banana pudding all grown up. Speculaas, also called speculoos, also called biscoff, are spicy shortcrust cookies. If you’ve had cookie butter you’ve tasted the same flavor. They are caramelized, spicy, crunchy, and addictive. After much research (ahem) my favorite is the Lotus Biscoff brand. This spicy pie crust adds a great dimension to this creamy, meringue topped banana pudding. It also goes great with chocolate pies. If you’re more of a traditionalist you could make the shell with vanilla wafers. The riper the bananas the sweeter they are, but you don’t want them brown or too mushy to slice. A thermometer really helps to check the temperature of your pudding to make sure it will set, but you can also eyeball it if you don’t have one.

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Pâte Brisée Pie Dough

 

 

Image of Rolled Pâte Brisée Pie Crust
Rolled Pâte Brisée Pie Crust

This recipe for pâte brisée is my go to pie crust recipe.  It works with both sweet and savory fillings. It can be made quickly in a food processor. Also it stays flaky if you need to reroll your crust. If you don’t have a food processor you could always form it by hand. The butter must be at a cool room temperature to blend correctly. I usually make the dough the day before baking to prevent shrinkage. This makes a large batch, as large as my food processor can handle. Freeze what you don’t need and save time later.

Yields 2 lb/ 910 g

Ingredients:

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Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche

I always go to Julia Child for my pastry because not only is she always right, but if you screw up she gives you helpful instructions on how to fix it. Pie pastry is especially handy to make a main dish for a vegetarian meal. It is easily made in the food processor, but as with many doughs made in the food processor it still requires a final human touch. The final blending is called fraisage and achieves an even blending of fat and flour. The trick is to work quickly and keep the dough as cool as possible.

Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
6 oz chilled butter cut into 1/2 inch bits
4 Tb chilled shortening
1/2 cup iced water
Measure all dry ingredients into food processor. Pulse 4 times. Add water all at ounce. Pulse until dough begins to form a ball on the blade. Do not overmix.
Scrape onto lightly floured pastry board for the fraisage. With the heel of one hand rapidly press the pastry down the board away from you in small bits. Then gather the dough again with a scraper for a brief knead. Sprinkle with flour, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Butter inside of quiche pan.
Roll out dough as quickly as possible into a circle about 1/8 inch thick so that it is 2 inches larger than your quiche pan. Place pastry in pan gently working inside edges of mold. Trim excess. Prick bottom with fork at 1/2 inch intervals. Place buttered parchment paper inside the pastry and weigh it down with dry beans.
For a partially cooked shell bake at middle level of 400F preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. Remove beans and parchment and prick bottom again with fork. Bake another 2-3 minutes, until shell is starting to cover and shrink from sides.
Depending on the firmness of the shell or your confidence you can either unmold it, allow it to cool, and then fill and bake it, or you can keep it in the pan for the final filling and baking.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Quiche

1 partially cooked pie crust
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 Tb butter
1 Tb oil
1 1/2 Tb flour
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped marjoram
2 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375F.
Cook onion in a heavy skillet over low heat with 2 tablespoons of butter and oil until caramelized, about an hour, being careful to not burn. Sprinkle with flour and cook slowly for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.
Add remaining tablespoon of butter and mushrooms to pan. Once mushrooms have released juices and begin to brown stir onion back in with marjoram. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in onion and mushroom mixture. Check seasoning. Pour into tart shell.
Bake in upper third of oven for 25 to 30 minutes until quiche has puffed and browned.
Can be served hot or cold.