Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Best Pie Crust Ever!

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Need a foolproof pie crust?  Well thanks to my mother-in-law here it is!  And it's made with Vodka!

The best apple pie crust ever.  Made with vodka!

Foolproof Pie Dough 

Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor, do not substitute. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to ¼ cup).

2 ½ Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp sugar
12 Tbsp (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter cut into ¼ inch slices
½ Cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
¼ Cup cold vodka
¼ Cup cold water

1. Process 1 ½ cups flour, salt and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses.  Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour).  Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.  Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.  Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.  With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.  Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4 inch disk.  Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Apple Pie 

3 ½  lbs. sweet apples (6 to 7 medium) peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
½  cup sugar
¼  tsp cinnamon
¼  tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 recipe Foolproof Pie Dough
1  egg white, beaten lightly
1. Mix ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and cornstarch in large microwave safe bowl; add apples and toss to combine.  Microwave on high power, stirring with rubber spatula every 3 minutes, until apples are just starting to turn translucent around the edges and liquid is thick and glossy, 10 to 14 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. While the filling cools adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425°.  Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 12 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.  Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1 inch overhang.  Ease the dough into the plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into the plate bottom with other hand.  Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

3. Transfer cooled apple mixture to dough-lined pie plate and mound slightly in the center.  Press down any sharp apple edges.

4. Roll second disk of dough on generously floured work surface (up to ¼ cup) to 12 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.  Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over the pie, leaving at least 1 inch overhang on each side.

5. Using kitchen shears, cut evenly trough both layers of overhanging dough, leaving ½ inch overhang.  Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate.  Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal.  Brush top and edges of pie with egg white and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar.  Using sharp paring knife, cut four 1 ½ inch slits in top of dough in cross pattern.

6. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake until top is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 375°, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown, 15 to 30 minutes longer.  Transfer pie to wire rack to cool at least 2 hours.  Cut into wedges and serve.


Anonymous said...

God that looks delicious.... Too bad I don't (nor Summer) bake. ;)

Lara said...

Haha! Whatever, you guys bake don't you??

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Looks great. I heard this before. I've got to try this version.


MichelleM said...

I gotta go get some vodka now! Homemade pies are addicting! Especially with homemade ice cream... :)

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