This baking basic is the only pie crust you will ever need. It is buttery, flaky, rolls out nicely, and remains tender and flavorful – and it has vodka.
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Once you master rolling out a pie crust, a whole array of recipes, both sweet and savory, opens up to you. Did I mention that this crust has vodka?
It isn’t as daunting as you may think, With the right tools, the right recipe, and a bit of practice, you will never want those flavorless, storebought crusts again.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS BAKING BASIC:
- The butter is the flavor in this crust. Use the freshest, highest quality butter you can find/afford. I like using European-style butter for a crust. It has a higher fat content and adds even more richness and flavor.
- Using the cornstarch lowers the gluten content in the crust, making it flakier. The cornstarch also adds a tiny bit of forgiveness to the dough if you have to re-roll it.
- Keep ALL the ingredients ice cold. This is crucial to get the perfectly tender and flaky crust. Take the time to freeze the butter, the dry ingredients, the rolled out crust. It is well worth the effort.
- The vodka helps keep the crust flaky as it evaporates quicker than water while baking. This means less moisture in the crust, which equals a tender, flaky crust. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the vodka. Just have yourself a cocktail while you roll out your crust.
TOOLS NEEDED TO MAKE A BUTTER AND VODKA PIE CRUST:
- Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Measuring Cup – use this in the microwave and put it in the dishwasher.
- Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Food Processor – this inexpensive tool makes food prep so much easier!
- Stainless Steel Rolling Pin and Silicone Baking Pastry Mat Set – A stainless steel rolling pin, so the dough sticks less AND it even has rings that fit on the ends of the rolling pin so you can accurately roll out the perfect thickness. Genius!
- AirBake Nonstick 2 Pack Cookie Sheet Set – These baking sheets are insulated, helping the bottom of your baked goods get perfectly browned, but not too brown.
- AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2 – Why pay for the fancy French name? These are amazing…and inexpensive.
- OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush – Use this on the grill, on chicken, pork and throw it into the dishwasher. Love that!
- Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate (9.5-Inch, 2-Pack) – Love these! I use them for pies, for dips. Very versatile!
Please consider these delicious classic dessert recipes:Print
This baking basic will leave you wondering why you ever bought those refrigerator crusts. It is flaky, tender, crisp, and flavorful…and easy.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen and grated using a box grater
¼ cup ice-cold vodka
2–4 tablespoons ice-cold water
In a ziplock bag, add the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Shake the bag to combine fully. Place the bag into the freezer for two hours or overnight. This is an optional step but helps to keep the crust very flaky.
Meanwhile, grate the frozen butter, using a box grater, onto a small baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the cold flour mixture and the frozen, grated butter. Pulse the flour and the butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. This will only take a few pulses. Don’t overmix the dough. If you don’t have a food processor, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender, 2 forks, or 2 knives. Try not to use your fingers, you don’t want to melt the butter.
While pulsing the food processor, slowly pour the vodka through the feed tube until it is just beginning to combine.
Open the food processor and check the dough. Grab a bit of the dough between your fingers, if it holds together, it’s ready. If it’s dry, slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Test the dough after each addition. Don’t add too much water. The dough should come together easily, without packing it. Don’t worry if you see bits of butter or even flour. This is fine.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Form the dough into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out.
To Roll Out The Dough:
Flour your rolling pin and the surface you will be rolling the crust on.
Place the dough disk onto the floured surface. Turn the disk to lightly coat both sides with flour.
Roll out the dough, rotating the dough after each roll. Roll away from you and back. Then rotate the disk.
Flip the disk over, carefully, to create a circle shape. If the dough begins to feel sticky, dust with flour.
Roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and place it over your pie plate. Unroll the dough into the pie plate.
Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the plate. Use a knife or scissors to trim any extra dough from the edge, leaving a ½-inch border. Fold the edge of the dough underneath itself to create a border.
Crimp the edges by pressing the dough between your thumb and forefinger. Rotate the pie plate until the pattern is completed along the entire edge.
Place the pie plate into the freezer to chill the dough for 30 minutes until ready to bake.
To blind bake a crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper. Fill the crust with pie weights, dried beans, even sugar. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed.
Bake until the edges are starting to brown, about 15-16 minutes. Carefully remove the crust from the oven and lift the parchment paper and weights out of the crust.
Using a fork, prick holes all around the bottom of the crust. Return the pie crust to the oven for another 7 – 8 minutes.
Finish your pie according to your pie recipe directions.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes +chilling time
- Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: baking basic, pie crust, pie crust recipe, homemade pie crust, homemade pie crust recipe