Farmer Cheese Pie
Photo: Ellen Silverman

Makes enough for 12 to 16 freeform, structured, or jar pies


  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose/plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. ice water


Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and freeze them while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.

To make the dough in a food processor: Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in the processor and pulse 3 or 4 times to mix. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer, scatter them over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps. In a small bowl, which together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Drizzle the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough holds together. If the mixture won’t come together, add the remaining 1 tablespoon ice water.

To the make the dough by hand: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer and distribute them evenly in the flour mixture, coating them with flour mixture. Sink your fingers into the mixture and begin pinching the butter and flour together, making thin, floury disks of the butter. Continue working the mixture until the butter is broken down first into floury pea-sized beads and then into a loose mixture that resembles wet sand. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs yolks and 2 teaspoons of the ice water. Drizzle the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and use your hand like a comb to mix in the liquid just until the dough holds together. If necessary, work in the remaining 1 tbsp ice water until the dough comes together in a crumbly mass.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface or sheet of parchment/baking paper. Gather together in a mound, then knead it a few times to smooth it out. Divide it in half and gently pat and press each half into a rough rectangle, circle, or square about 1 inch thick. The shape you choose depends on what shape you will be rolling out the dough. If you don’t know how you will be using the dough at this point, opt for a circle. Wrap in plastic wrap or in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Next: Try this cornmeal crust in Four & Twenty Blackbirds' Farmer Cheese Pie recipe

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