Ease of mixing and tenderness are the main characteristics of this crust. It’s as simple to prepare as the most basic cookie dough and the result truly earns the right to be called foolproof. Using cold cream cheese produces a soft but not sticky dough. Cutting up the cream cheese makes it easier to blend.
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cold cream cheese cut into 3 pieces
1. Sift the flour and salt together into a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until smoothly blended, about 45 seconds. Mix in the flour mixture until the dough holds together and forms large clumps that come away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds.
Or, use a large spoon to stir the butter and cream cheese together until smoothly blended, then add the flour and salt and continue stirring until clumps of smooth dough form.
2. Form the dough into a smooth ball, flatten it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or as long as overnight. The dough is now ready to roll and use in the recipes.
Variation: To make 2 crusts double the ingredients.
Steps Ahead: The dough can be refrigerated overnight but it will have to sit at room temperature until it is soft enough to roll easily. This can take as long as 1 hour in a cool kitchen. The dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost the wrapped dough in the refrigerator overnight and let it sit at room temperature until it is soft enough to roll easily.