Monday, August 11, 2014

Pie Crust

Well this is embarrassing...

I just got off the phone with my favorite brother Rod, who I call Eric. Which is also the name of his son. Eric that is, not Rod. But that's enough post for another time. So, we're chatting and I tell him I have a fantastic pie crust recipe that he needs to try. (We're all cooks and bakers in my family, Mom, Dad, sister, brother, aunts, uncles...) So I open up my blog, so I can send him the link, and I pull up everything with the label Pie and--

Yup. There are several pies, but somehow I have managed to over look the most basic and fundamental and, excuse me, IMPORTANT element in a pie: The Crust .Honestly. What is a pie without a crust? A slump. Or a crisp. Cobbler. Crumble. Betty. Buckle. Grunts. Sonker. Pandowdy. Bird's Nest Pudding.... Another post, another time.

This is my hands down, go-to, so easy you won't believe it, pie crust. You will need a food processor for the this recipe. If you don't have one, you'll have to wait until I post Mom's Pie Crust.

Before we begin I want to make sure you notice something extremely important about this recipe: the word COLD. Yup. If it isn't cold, you'll have a mess. The simple inevitable fact of life, when it comes to pie is this: certain ingredients must be C-O-L-D. You must plan ahead to make pie. So keep your Crisco or other shortening in the fridge and your vodka in the freezer. Now let's make some pie!

The I-Can't-Believe-People-Think-It's-Difficult-To-Make-Pie Crust, Pie Crust 

2 1/2 cups flour (divide into 1 cup & 1 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons COLD butter, cut up
8 tablespoons COLD vegetable shortening 
1/4 cup COLD vodka
1/4 cup COLD water

1. In a food processor put 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar and salt. Pulse for 5 seconds to combine.

2. Scatter COLD butter chunks and COLD shortening chunks over the top of the flour mixture. Process for approximately 15 seconds or until shortenings are incorporated and mixture begins to form uneven clumps with no remaining floury bits.

3. Scrape down bowl to redistribute dough. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup flour over dough. Pulse until dough has broken up into several pieces and is evenly distributed around bowl.

4. Remove dough from food processor to a large bowl on your counter top.

5. Sprinkle vodka and water over dough. Stir and press until dough sticks together. It will be sticky.

6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic and flatten into a disk. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or freeze up to 30 days. Dough will keep 2 days in fridge.

7. Remove dough from fridge and let sit on counter to soften slightly. No more than 10 minutes.

8. Use as you would any pie dough. See blind baking or use your favorite pie recipe. Enjoy! And please let me know how it was.

From "The Science of Good Cooking" page 380

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