This easy piecrust really is foolproof! It gives you all the measurements that you need – no “add water until ready” instructions! The vodka makes it incredibly flakey and tender! You will not be disappointed!
As you all know, if my last pie making attempt were a Shakespearian play, it would have been a Tragedy. This time I switched up the piecrust recipe for one by Cooks Illustrated via The Smitten Kitchen. A good call if ever there was one!
I wanted to use a piecrust recipe from one of my heritage cookbooks but I needed a little more handholding and visual aid than they could provide. I will bring you a traditional (vodka-free) piecrust recipe at a later date when I have mastered this elusive skill.
This pie crust is flaky, light, and flavorful. I was one of those people who ate the filling out of the crust and left additional denuded crust for everyone else (sorry family) because I thought that I didn’t like a piecrust. It is probably fortunate for my waistline that I did not discover this recipe until my late twenties!
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
Deb at The Smitten Kitchen provides an excellent tutorial on crust making, so I won’t dwell on the crust.
Make sure ALL your ingredients and utensils are cold. Sift two cups of flour and re-measure 2 ½ cups into your mixing bowl. Add your salt and sugar to the flour, mix with a fork or pastry blender, cover and put bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Cut up your butter and measure your shortening and put them back in the refrigerator while you measure your vodka and place some ice cubes into a cup of water (stay with me here, it’s genius, promise). Put that vodka back in the freezer!
Remove your pre-mixed dry ingredients from the refrigerator and drop the butter slices into bowl, coating with the flour mixture as you go. Do the same with the shortening. Use a knife to scoop out little bits and plop them in the flour. Cut the shortening & butter into the flour mixture with your pastry blender until the dough looks like a streusel topping with no unincorporated flour.
Drizzle the vodka over the surface of the dough. Then measure ¼ cup ice water into the same measuring cup used for the vodka and drizzle this evenly over the surface of the dough. Using a sturdy spatula, mash the dough to mix the liquid into the crumbles. Scoop from the bottom and press against the sides of the bowl. This should come together very easily.