The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A quick and easy Cream Cheese Pastry

breadsong's picture

A quick and easy Cream Cheese Pastry


A friend gave me her recipe for her Mushroom Turnovers a few years ago. I pulled out the recipe again to make them for a New Year's party yesterday. I was reminded again of how easy the pastry is to make, and how good the filling tastes, so wanted to share this.
I've included the Mushroom Filling recipe below, but you could use this pastry as a base for just about any filling,
sweet or savory.
I used a 2-1/4" round cutter, for the turnovers and to line 2" fluted tart molds.
The pastry recipe yielded enough for 20 tart shells and 16 turnovers from the 'first roll'; there are still pastry scraps left over.

Cream Cheese Pastry

The cream cheese pastry was mixed in a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment:
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese (227g by weight)
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick or 113g by weight)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188g)

Have cream cheese and butter at room temperature.
Place in mixer bowl, and mix together until combined.
On low speed, mix in flour and mix just until combined.
Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm - I let mine chill overnight.

Mushroom Turnover/Tart Filling

3 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped (I substituted three medium shallots, finely chopped)
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine butter, onion or shallot and mushrooms in a frying pan.
Saute 8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute another couple of minutes.
It's good if the shallots caramelize a little bit, for added flavor!

Add flour, salt, pepper and thyme leaves & stir in. Add sour cream.
Stir and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.
Refrigerate if you're not filling turnovers right away. Can be made a day ahead - keep refrigerated.

Take pastry out of fridge. Lightly dust counter and top of pastry with flour.
Roll pastry fairly thin. Cut rounds. For 3" rounds, fill with 1 teaspoon of filling.
I was cutting 2-1/4" rounds so filled the little turnovers with less, and filled the 2" tart shells with a bit more.
For turnovers, dampen the outer edge with beaten egg, fold pastry over and press to seal.
Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.
You can cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate before baking if you want to.
Cut slits in the tops of the turnovers & brush tops of turnovers with beaten egg.
I baked on 350F convection for 20 minutes and then started checking for doneness - ovens may vary - bake until golden.

To freeze ahead: Don't brush with egg before freezing. Remove from freezer, brush with egg, cut slits in turnovers and bake at 350F until golden, (20-30 minutes? depending on your oven).
To you bake them, freeze them cooked and reheat at 325F for 15-20 minutes.

Happy baking everyone! If you try these I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
from breadsong











flournwater's picture

Your recipe appears to use the terms "mix" and "beat" interchangeably. 
The paddle attachment is generally used for mixing, not beating.  How do you distinguish between the two processes in this recipe?

breadsong's picture

I removed the word 'beat' and changed it to 'mix' - the processes were the same.
Of course different words have different meanings; I wasn't really thinking about that when writing it.
Thanks for pointing this out. - from breadsong


Gunnersbury's picture

My wife, who passed away 11 years ago used to make these.  I could never find the recipe.  thank you! I don't have a convection oven: what do you think the oven temp and approx time should be in a conventional oven?



breadsong's picture

Hello Gunnersbury, You are so welcome and I'm glad you found this post.
The actual instructions for the turnovers were to bake at 450F, conventional oven, for 10 minutes (this would be the 3" size). I cooled it down to 350F hoping a slower, cooler bake would slow down any rise in the pastry and hopefully keep the turnovers sealed. I'm not sure if there was any logic in that, but in any event they seemed to stay sealed.
(I chose convection only because I like how the extra airflow crisps up the pastry, but before I had a convection oven these always baked up just fine in a conventional oven).
Regards, breadsong

EvaB's picture

which came from Candian Living mag over 20 years ago, mine works well in the food processor rather than a mixer.

This makes enough for 1 2 crust pie, or 30 small turnovers.

1/2 pound of lard, 2 cups flour, 1 pkg (250 gram or 8 ounces) cream cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp dried thyme for savoury crusts leave out for a fruit or sweet pie.

Place flour in food processor, add salt,and thyme, cut the lard (cold from the fridge) into small chunks, same with cream cheese, (again cold) pulse untl largish lumps appear, then continusly until dough forms a ball. Turn out, onto wax paper cut into two, form into disks and place into a ziplock sandwich bag and chill well.

I have put this into a heavy medium freezer bag and frozen it for several weeks (you know that disaster strikes in the middle of my baking all the time) and thawed it in the fridge and gone on to make wonderful turnovers.

Another filling is

1 cup grated cheese (I like old cheddar but you can use anything) 1/3 cup finely chopped black olives (I bought a slap chop as advertized on TV, works better than the older versions because its more useer friendly) 1-2 small onions grated (slap chopped) 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped (slap chop works great for this and you get nice fine dice) 2 1/2 tsp chili powder.

I usually use a pinch of chipotle pepper in place of the cayenne and its very hot spice wise, so make sure the people are aware of it.

This is supposed to make 30 small turnovers, it usually makes less, and I've given up on the turnovers lately because I can't find my pierogi press which makes two at a time. But it makes wonderful tiny tarts, about 2 dozen actually. I don't have the fluted cups,but do have a 24 cup tart tin which works great.

breadsong's picture

Hello EvaB, Thanks for your turnover pastry and filling ideas. I love the idea of adding thyme to the pastry. From breadsong

Jerome Lowry Johnson's picture
Jerome Lowry Johnson

Hi:  would this work as a crust for lemon tarts?  I plan on making the crust first and then adding lemon curd and finally a meringue?

If so, what temp do I cook this crust at and for how long?


Thanks,  Jay