The Very Best No-Fail Pie Crust. Ever! v4

After much trial and error I offer up my Very Best, No-Fail Pie Crust, version 4.

Yes, this is the fourth version of this recipe. It makes for an easy-to-use dough that can stand up to a little bit of mistreatment.

The secret ingredient to this recipe is…vodka. Yup, booze. If you are curious as to why I use vodka in the recipe, you can read

the note at the bottom of the recipe.

You’re Gonna Need:

12oz flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 tbl sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 oz butter (2 sticks), chilled and grated
1/3 cup vodka

What You’re Gonna Do

1. Take salt, sugar, half the flour for a 15 second spinin your friendly neighbourhood food processor.

2. Add your chilled and grated butter to the flourmixture. Give it 4 1-second pulses.

note: Be careful if using a food processor
to grate your butter, it can heat the butter
and you don't want that.

3. Add the rest of the flour and all of the vodka and pulse4 to 6 more times.

4. Empty the dough into a work bowl.

5. Carefully divide the dough in to two equally sized balls.  This will give you enough dough for one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies.

6. Flatten and form into two discs about 4-5 inches diameter. Store in a Ziploc bag for at least 1 hour in the fridge. You can do this for up to 3 days or 1 month in the freezer.

If left in the fridge for more than an hour 
or in the freezer, let disc sit on counter until
you can work with it (about 30 minutes).

1. For a 9″ pie dish, roll out your dough to about 12 inches diameter. Fold in half, then half again. Place the quartered dough in to a pie pan.

2. Carefully unfold the dough. It should now be coveringhalf the pie dish.

3. Unfold again. Viola. You’ve got a pie shell. Store this in the fridge (covered) for up to 3 days or 1 month in the freezer.

The reason for the booze:

I really like a tender and flaky crust. But overworking your dough can toughen it up due to the formation of gluten. Gluten is great in bread but not in pie crusts. Gluten forms easily in the presence of water but not so in the presence of ethanol. Being that vodka is about 60% water and about 40% ethanol the gluten doesn’t form. This makes the dough a bit easier to roll out and to work with. And because the alcohol vaporizes in the oven, the dough comes out very tender and flaky.

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