Making the perfect pie crust is both the hardest and easiest thing to do… Hard, because it can sometimes take a really, really long time (plus a whole lot of trial and error) to finally get it right.
But when you do… PERFECTION👌🏻
My holiday gift to you this year is sharing the recipe I’ve been tweaking over the last many, many months. It’s not the simplest recipe you’re going to find but I promise you it’s worth the teeny bit of extra effort.
The Flakiest Flaky Pie Crust
- 1/2 Cup Salted Butter, cubbed
- 3/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening, cubbed
- 2.5 Cups All-Purpose White Flour
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/4 Cup vodka
- 1/4 Cup water
- Combine cubbed butter and shortening. Put in freezer for 30 minutes. *Some people would skip this step but I'm asking you to give it a try... just once. Personally, I find this helps work the dough and leave you with those big, chunky pieces you want to see. **I like using salted butter in all my baking because I find it tones down recipes from being overly sweet. But non-salted butter will still give you the promised results 😉
- In a large bowl, add salt to your flour and mix until combined.
- Mix together the water and vodka. Set aside in the fridge of freezer.*You want this mixture to be as cold as possible but don't let ice form. I usually put mine in the freezer because I know it won't be there more than 15 mintues.
- Add cold butter/shortening. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course sand. Do not over-mix!*It's normal to have pea-sized bits of butter/shortening left in the dough. This is a good thing! As the pie crust cooks, those bits will melt and create those flakey pockets of goodness that will make your crust scrumptous.
- Slowly add the water/vodka mixture in 1 Tbsp increments, mixing the dough until in forms. You want the dough to just come together without it being wet or it will become tough. *I personally like to use my hands for this so I can feel the texture of the dough. But you can use a wooden spoon as well. If you use your hands, make sure they stay cold and the butter/shortening doesn't melt under your touch. This is when having those super cold ingredients really comes in handy!
- Divide the dough into two balls. Each ball will roll out enough to fit a 9" pie crust. TIP: I like to use a marble rolling pin for this, which I keep in the freezer. Again, the goal is to keep this crust as cold as possible until it's filled and ready for the oven. *If you're not going to fill your pie right away, tightly cover the dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. Let the cold dough sit on the counter for 30mins before rolling.**You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months.
You can use this crust for just about anything sweet or savoury. For pie, I generally cook the whole thing together, once it’s filled and the top layer is in place. I wanted to keep this recipe simple but I love referring to this post on How to Crimp Pie Crust from Food52 for inspiration.
For savoury recipes like quiche or no-bake desserts like meringue pie, you will need to bake the pie in advance and let cool. This is called “Blind Baking” and you can learn more here.
Already know how you’re going to fill your pie shell? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below! But if pie is not really your thing, you might find my Chocolate Chip Recipe (with a secret ingredient!) to be more your flow.
Either way…. enjoy!!