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Anyone made the CI vodka pie crust?

Just curious. I'm wondering if this dough is really as easy and great tasting as they say.

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  1. I made it, using the food processor method, but I'll try it again cutting the fat in by hand. I wasn't fond of the result: too shortbready, not enough flaky. I'd never used a food processor for crust before, so it may have been my technique. Not a bad crust though, more like a commercial than a home made crust, and a very interesting concept.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pastrytroll

      I tried it this weekend and had the exact same problem. It seemed to take a bit longer to bake and became a bit shortbready. If it ain't broke, why fit it?

    2. Yes, it is the best crust I have ever made! And the dough is so beautiful to work with. I couldn't believe it! I never have to look for another recipe again. And the cranberrry-apple was filling was wonderful too!

      1. I made it; it was a good crust, easy to work with, but I didn't like the faint vodka taste that remained even after the pie cooled.

        1. I made a variation on this using gluten free flours and it worked well. I made a paste, then froze it, then grated that into the rest of the flour and added an egg. i didn't need to use vodka - because there was no gluten to develop! It worked very well - very flakey, but held up. I have made even gluten free recipes that were flakey yet impossible to cut with a fork. Worth experimenting more...

          1. I really don't understand the chemistry behind the vodka crust. I mean, first off, pie crust doesn't even need that much water in the first place. Even then, vodka isn't 100% alcohol, it's a diluted solution in water, which means that the gluten strands won't be activated or whatever doesn't make sense: there is water in the crust. Can someone please explain how this works?

            2 Replies
            1. re: digkv

              great question...i'm curious myself, though i've been adding 1 Tbs. of lemonjuice or vinegar to pie crusts for a couple of years now...I find that my all butter crusts get crisper with the addition, though I have no idea why...

              1. re: sixelagogo

                I don't have my copy of CI with me, but I believe that the answer is something like this (don't quote me!): Gluten forms when water and flour combine. Some gluten is good- that's your structure. Too much gluten is bad- that's your tough crust. The vodka addition allows you too add more liquid, without adding too much more water- therefore, your liquid amounts can be constant, and give you a more workable dough thats more consistent and less 'touchy'.

                That said, I tried it recently, and wasn't too impressed. The finished product was great, and it was rather novel to have a workable dough that could stand up to more abuse. But I never have trouble with pie dough, so I felt like it wasn't any more interesting than the usual. Plus, I found out halfway through that my food processer doesn't fit their recipe, and had to switch to the manual (my usual) method mid-stream- very messy.

                At any rate, I wasn't super impressed- but I would definately recomend it for people who aren't always lucky with pie dough.