Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust

Pocket Pies

As part of our grand Pi Day celebration, my hubby and I decided to try a delicious sounding pie crust. This one did not disappoint.

Makes two 9" crusts or about 22 pocket pie sized crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp table salt
2 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water

PLACE 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor.
PROCESS until combined.

CUT butter into 1/4 inch pieces.
CUT shortening into 4 pieces.
ADD butter and shortening to the mixture in the food processor.
PROCESS until well blended.

REMOVE to medium bowl*
ADD remaining 1 cup flour and blend into processed mixture with rubber spatula.

ADD water and vodka to the mixture, use a folding motion to mix.
DIVIDE dough into two balls.
WRAP each in plastic wrap.
CHILL at least 45 min, up to 2 days.

*You can do all of the mixing in a food processor, if yours is large enough, mine isn't. : )

My Thoughts
1. This dough is amazingly, perfectly flaky. It's a touch on the sweet side for savory fillings, but a just about right for sweet fillings.

2. This is a very sticky dough. When you roll it out use lots of flour. Flour your workspace. Flour the top of the dough ball. Flour your rolling pin. Roll out using a rocking motion--one side, then the other, back and forth, stretching it a bit at a time. Trying to take one long roll in each direction will cause the dough to stick and pull. (Credit goes to the hubby for that brilliant tip)

3. The vodka does not add any flavor, it all cooks off, but it is the secret ingredient to giving the pastry its wonderful texture.

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