I’ve made my fair share of pies over the years, but until this summer, never had a great recipe for pie crust. I’ve borrowed recipes from friends and family and while they definitely do the job, they never completely hit the mark. I recently took notes from my friend Lauren who happens to make some of the most delicious pies, and finally baked one of my own that had a crust worth talking about. Easy to roll out, perfectly moist and flaky, no toughness to be found. This one is a keeper.
Soak up the last of the season with a berry-packed pie (one last time!), or welcome fall with cool weather flavor profiles. If you’re ready for an autumn-spiced pie, opt for an always classic Apple pie or get a little adventurous and bake up a Pear-Cardamom version—we’re headed into prime season for both fruits.
Mix 3/4 cup flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening and process in short bursts until you see the dough come together. You want all the flour to be incorporated, but it’s ok if there are crumbles of butter. Add the remaining half of the flour and pulse a handful of times until everything is pretty evenly mixed.
Pour your chilled vodka and water over dough and process just until it turns to a smooth dough. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Press into a small disk and wrap tightly. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 425. Put your oven rack in the lowest position and place a foil-covered rimmed baking sheet on the rack.
Remove dough from the fridge. Generously flour your countertop or workspace and roll out pie dough. You want to make a 12 inch circle that is roughly 1/8 inch thick. Carefully transfer pie dough to pie plate and center so there is an inch of overhang in all directions. Ease dough down into the plate gently and press into plate bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut excess overhang of dough to 1/2 inch. Fold the edge under so it is flush with the edge of the pie plate. Press the tines of a fork against the dough along the edge. This will flatten it against the rim. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.
Remove pie plate from fridge and line crust with foil. Fill with pie weights, pennies, or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Fill and bake according to whatever recipe you choose.
If you need a jolt of inspiration:
My same skilled baker friend shared this delightful Apple Pie recipe. I’ve since made it myself and it is a damn good Apple Pie
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 183