Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Foolproof Double-Crust Pie Dough

In my opinion, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People made a grievous omission: learn how to make a pie that will make your friends gasp, clap, jump about and finally cry with joy. Go ahead and use any recipe you have on hand for the filling – just substitute this recipe for the crust. I went to my favorite website, Leite’s Culinaria, and found a wonderful Classic Apple Pie filling. Try it – you’ll be a local hero. I promise!

Foolproof Double-Crust Pie Dough
Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best Recipes 20th Anniversary Edition

2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled
8 tbsp vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces and chilled
¼ cup vodka, chilled
¼ cup ice water

Process 1½ cups flour, sugar, and salt together in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter and shortening over top and continue to process until incorporated and mixture begins to form uneven clumps with no remaining floury bits, about 15 seconds.

Scrape down bowl and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup flour over dough and pulse until mixture has broken up into pieces and is evenly distributed around bowl, 4 to 6 pulses.

Transfer mixture to large bowl. Sprinkle vodka and ice water over mixture. Stir and press dough together, using stiff rubber spatula, until dough sticks together.

Divide dough into 2 even pieces. Turn each piece of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Before rolling dough out, let it sit on a counter to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, let dough thaw completely on counter before rolling out.)

Dear reader, please note this crust does not need to be blind baked. It will, however, benefit from the pie plate being set on a large preheated roasting pan/cookie sheet during baking.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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