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Sep 18, 2010 12:38 PM

Pie Crust...Do You Add Lemon Juice or Cider Vinegar?

I tried to conquer pie crust this summer.

The crust had an off taste because I indadvertantly purchased whole wheat pastry flour.

But, I also thought the flavor of cider vinegar tasted odd: For those who have tried both lemon juice and cider vinegar, which do you prefer and why?

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    1. re: qianning

      Me, too. I got it from my mom. Her pie crusts were exquisite--can't argue with that.

    2. I'm not sure why you would use either and IMO, either can give a weird taste. Flour, butter/crisco, salt and sugar plus ice water. That's it!

      2 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        That is the correct way to make pie crust. Why put acid in it?

        1. re: Janet

          The addition of the acid in white vinegar cuts the gluten strands in the pie dough making for a more tender product.

          Making it with an alcohol that prohibits the formation will achieve the same end.

      2. How much vinegar did you put in? I only add 1 t for a double pie crust. I can't taste the vinegar. I've used apple, red wine, and white. I think red wine is the best.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jindomommy

          Nope, never use vinegar or lemon juice, nor can I see why you would.

        2. I have always added white vinegar to my ice water before adding the water to the dough. This is what my mother did and, her mother. I've taken two hands-on pie making classes, one was on crusts only, the other on pies. The crust class instructor was a well-known pastry chef and she added white vinegar to her standard "no-fail" recipe. The other instructor did not use any acid, just water.

          I found the following resource on-line that speaks to "Why add vinegar" if its of any interest:

          1. I haven't tried either, though I am still experimenting with different crust recipes. I just got my mom's "no-fail" crust recipe, which I'm looking forward to trying. It includes vinegar.

            I gather vinegar or lemon juice would be added for their chemical properties, and that the right amounts wouldn't affect the taste. But it's not inconceivable to want to affect the taste. I once tried a pie crust recipe that had lemon zest in it, which added a nice brightness to the overall flavor.