Vodka. Crust. No, really, what more DO you want?

23 Nov

Well, I guess some of you would like a tasty pie filling. There is that.

I know I just recently gave you a word-y nerd post. Piedenfroid. Can I stay educational and give you a little science in this post?
It is about pie.
You are either a crust or a filling person. I am crust. Not only that but I now must tell you gourmands it’s all about the flour, Crisco and salt crust.
I wanted to give the flour/vodka/butter/Crisco/sugar/salt crust from Cook’s Illustrated a go though. Plus I had my brand new factory refurbished Kitchenaid food processor to put to work.
Ok, oops I was going to get science-y.
Sheesh. Science-y? Come on Clifford.
Pie crust texture and taste is a delicate balance. A lot of folks want an all butter crust for the taste. All crisco makes for a divinely flaky crust. The solution is often a mix of the two.
What up with the vodka? It’s a way to add moisture so you have a supple dough to roll, but that will evaporate during baking without developing gluten. Vodka has no taste so it’s as good as using water. Except better. Gluten is another thing that makes crust a wee but too sturdy.
Now don’t get me wrong. This crust was a dream to roll out. Putty in my hands. And it did taste good. But it was just not pie-crusty so much as cookie-y to me. You may prefer that. I do not. It ain’t right or wrong. Just a matter of preference. I hate to tell you to make something without butter or vodka.
By all means put butter on a piece of baked leftover shortening crust and do a shot. Get yer vodka and butter in. Those are important for your health.
I will stick with my butterless, sugarless shortening crust-though next time i may try using vodka.
What kind of crust do you dig?

My Crust(adapted from Betty Crocker)
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
up to 1/4 cup cold water
Use a fork to toss together flour and salt. Add shortening and use fork to cut it in. Just press down and break up the shortening, o’er and o’er again until it starts to look like peas. One tablespoon at a time toss in water until the dough will stick together. Form into a disk, brush both sides with flour, dust more on a piece of parchment and place disk in center. Put another piece of parchment on top and roll out.

8 Responses to “Vodka. Crust. No, really, what more DO you want?”


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