Every year, I make a cranberry and apple pie for Thanksgiving and every year, getting the perfect tender and flaky crust is always the hardest part. So, yes, pie crust can be intimidating. It sounds like making the perfect homemade pie crust should be something that takes a lot of practice and skill, but we promise that this vodka pie crust is so easy and fast, you'll be making perfect flaky pie crust in no time. This pie crust recipe works for any savory or sweet 9-inch pie; you can make a double-crust pie or two single-crust pies with this vodka pie crust recipe.
The Best Pie Crust is Flaky and Tender
The cold vodka adds no flavor (or alcohol, since it all bakes out). It turns out that alcohol also doesn't form gluten like water does when it's mixed with flour, so using alcohol like vodka as part of the liquid in the pie dough means that your pie crust ends up tender instead of tough. Cook's Illustrated says that if you don't have vodka in the house, any type of 80 proof spirit will do. If you don't store your vodka in the freezer, put a quarter cup vodka in the freezer for an hour before you mix up the pie crust.
Start by combining all-purpose flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or in a food processor). Cut in the vegetable shortening and cold unsalted butter with a pastry blender, or mix with quick pulses in the food processor, until the butter is in uneven clumps about the size of peas. Sprinkle vodka and ice cold water over the flour mixture and press together with hands until a dough forms. Divide dough into two parts and shape into two 4-inch disks. Cover the pie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, for about an hour. Then all you have to do is take your favorite rolling pin and roll out your foolproof pie crust, place it in a pie plate and either blind bake it or go ahead and fill it with your pie filling and bake.
This particular vodka pie crust recipe uses a mix of butter and solid vegetable shortening, but if you prefer an all-butter pie crust or using lard instead of shortening, the vodka trick works with those recipes, too. You can also freeze this vodka pie crust for up to two months to make your pie baking even easier!
Easy Vodka Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 12 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 3-4 Tbsp cold water
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in vegetable shortening and butter with a pastry blender until butter is in the size of peas.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over the flour mixture and press together with hands until a dough forms. Evenly divide in two and shape into rounds. Cover in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Perfect PairingUse the pie dough to make Banoffee Pie. [embed_recipe id='9722']
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