I know it’s been a few days since I’ve found myself behind this keyboard, but for good reason. I’ve been testing out this recipe. Not for just the filling but for how it would work with the pie dough I made earlier. I love cheesecake, but I wanted to work on a recipe for a Farmer Cheese Pie, like the one I saw on Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop in New York.
The reason it took me so long to test this recipe is I wasn’t able to find Farmer cheese at any of my local grocery stores. Well, I was in the dairy aisle looking to buy some butter and there it was Farmer cheese, staring me right in the face. Don’t ask me why it’s not with all the other cheeses.
They come packaged in 7.5-ounce bars, so I bought two. I also bought a store-bought ready-made pie crust shell from the freezer section.
You know, I’m a big believer in making your own pie crust, but this dish is really about the filling, I want to share both ways today, one with a store-bought ready-made pie crust and one using my Homemade Pie Crust.
The recipe I’m about to share with you will make enough filling for two pie shells. Believe me when I tell you that you’ll want to have extra pie. Make sure to let the frozen pie shell to sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before *blind baking the pie crust. For my Homemade Pie Crust recipe, click the link at the bottom of this post.
Above is my Homemade Pie Crust. Below is the store-bought pie crust.
My Farmer Cheese Pie yields enough filling for two pies. If you’re using a Homemade Pie Crust then you’ll use both halves.
I’m cutting my dough in half here because I want to show both the store-bought ready-made pie crust and Homemade Pie Crust for Famer Cheese Pie. I’m wrapping the remaining half of pie dough tightly in plastic wrap then into a large zip-lock baggie and transferring it to the freezer for another time.
I keep my pie weights (dried beans) in a jar on a shelf in my kitchen. I can use them over and over again by letting them cool completely before placing them back into the jar for the next time.
Next, take the dough that’s hanging over the edge of the pie pan and fold it under all the way around, and using your fingers crimp the edges. You won’t need to do this with the store-bought one because it’s already done for you.
At this point, you want to dock with a fork all over the bottom of the pie crust. Do the same with the thawed store-bought ready-made crust as well.
Place both pie shells back into the frig to rest for 1 hour. Doing this will prevent the sides of the pie dough from shrinking down and let it maintain its shape. While this is happening, work on the filling.
The picture below is what’s known as a silicone pie crust cover. It will prevent your crust from burning before the pie is done. You can also use substitute aluminum foil.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Yields: 2 pies
Equipment: Electric mixer, 1 glass pie pan, rolling pin, parchment paper, silicone cover and or aluminum foil, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans
1 homemade pie crust, rolled out to a circle, 10-inches in diameter, 1/8-inch in thickness
1 Marie Callender’s Pastry Pie Shell, store-bought ready-made frozen pie crust shell, pan included
2 (7.5-ounce) bars of Farmer cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
Directions For Homemade Pie Crust:
Click on the link at the bottom of this page
Note: Transfer the store-bought ready-made pie shell to the refrigerator the day before you plan to blind bake the pie crust.
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Homemade Pie Crust Dough:
Dust your board with flour. Start rolling out the dough and keeping turning the dough a quarter turn each time you roll. Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8-inch in thickness and 10-inches in diameter. Next, take the dough that’s hanging off the edge of the pan and fold it under all the way around. Using your fingers, crimp the edges.
At this point, you need to *dock (prick) with a fork all over the bottom of both the homemade and store-bought pie shells. Place both pie shells back into the frig for 1 hour to rest.
Directions For Partial Blind Baking:
After allowing the pies shells to rest n the refrigerator for 1 hour, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pie crust, making sure to make the parchment flush with the crust. Add dried beans (or pie weights) to both pie shells. Push the beans towards the edges of both pies. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crimped edges are set but not browned.
Remove the pie shells from the oven. Next, carefully remove the parchment paper with the dried beans.
Note: DO NOT remove the silicone cover and or aluminum foil covering the edges while the pies are cooling.
Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Directions For the Filling:
Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix the farmer cheese and powdered sugar together. Add the 5 eggs, one at a time, until they’re all combined. Add vanilla extract, Kosher salt, lemon zest, and heavy cream.
Evenly distribute the pie filling into each pie.
Place the pie/s, on a rimmed baking sheet, on the center rack and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes.
After the pie comes out of the oven, remove the silicone cover, and let cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack. Dust the pies with some powdered sugar. My Farmer Cheese Pie is delicious at room temperature or chilled. You do want to refrigerate the pies to store them.
There you have it, my Farmer Cheese Pie.
Note: Times may vary depending on whether you’re baking in a glass or some type of metal pan. These vessels can affect the outcome of the pie.
*Dock: Pricking holes in the rolled-out pie dough allow the steam to escape while it’s baking. Without this, the steam would puff up in bubbles and pockets throughout the crust.
*Partial Blind Baking: Sometimes called pre-baking, is the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling.
*Fully Blind Baking: First, follow the steps above, in the section marked, directions for partial blind baking.
Next, cover the crimped edges, of the pie, with either a silicone cover or aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom crust is browned and cooked through. Fully Blind baking a pie crust is necessary when it will be filled with an unbaked filling (such as pudding or cream pies in which case the crust must be fully baked. Cool before filling.
Note: For best results, use the frozen pie dough or frozen pie crusts within 3 months. You can also refrigerate unbaked pie dough or unbaked pie crust for up to 3 days. Keep tightly covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.