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ATK/Cook's Illustrated Vodka Pie Crust

Need the recipe for ATK/CI pie crust they do with Vodka. Anyone attempt this yet? Results? Tips? Looking forward to trying it!

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  1. Pie crust recipe with vodka here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

    But also read this piece by the creator of the vodka piecrust recipe: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07...

    1. That's now the official crust of my household. It's easy and you can't screw it up. You can, however, spend a fortune in vodka if you make it enough. Follow the directions, including chilling, and be aware that the texture of the dough is like fondant, not pie crust, so don't think you've messed up if yours is like this.

      But I agree with drongo that you should read the second article s/he linked. I have yet to try that method, but when I do, it will certainly be cheaper.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Isolda

        I am also a huge fan of the vodka crust but it does get expensive. I read Kenji's article about the vodka-free method and adopted some of his ideas, and it worked spectacularly. I halved the vodka and used all butter the last time I made crust and it was every bit as good as the original CI recipe, perhaps even better. Try it and see what you think!

        1. re: biondanonima

          I remembered this comment about the vodka crust being expensive today when I saw a 750 mL bottle of Everclear 190 proof (95% alcohol) for $7. Since presumably all one needs is the alcohol with no (or minimum) flavoring, I think Everclear (diluted with water to 40% alcohol) would be an inexpensive replacement for vodka.

          I didn't buy the Everclear though -- I don't think I want something like that in the house. It would be kinda like having a bag of cocaine (which I don't have either) in the living room.

      2. I use the Vodka pie crust recipe whenever I make pie. I use lard (bought from a local farmer's market) in place of shortening, and I rarely use all of the cold water called for; my experience is I only need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water vice the 1/4 cup the recipe specifies.

        You may find this crust is more pliable than a traditional crust made with the bare minimum of water, but it's much easier to work with and always tasty. I find it has a tendency to shrink as it cooks, so compensate for that by pinching it over the edge of the pie pan a bit more than you might normally.

        1. I use it, love it and will never switch. It's easy enough for beginners and quick enough for long time pie crust makers. I use cheap vodka, (Georgi) no need for the high priced stuff. Can't taste it anyway.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Funny, I have the Georgi sitting up next to my flour in the pantry as well. Only caveat I have with the vodka crust is that it can be very soft. Sometimes it almost falls apart when I try to transfer to the pie pan. I still eyeball the water and cut back if needed.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Yes, a cheap one would be better! We had an old bottle of Stoli in the cupboard and since we rarely use vodka for anything but cooking (the bottle was a gift), that's what I used. So, it was quite a haute pie crust.

            2. How does it compare to vinegar pie crust? It doesn't seem like it would be any different and the recipe I have was my grandmothers.

              3 Replies
              1. re: rasputina

                My vinegar crust recipe only uses 1 T vinegar, whereas this vodka recipe uses 1/4 cup. The vodka one is easier to work with, which might be better for a novice.

                1. re: Isolda

                  Yeah, my grandmother's recipe was with vinegar. I think the science is the same, but it was not realized why at the time. Problem with vinegar is if you used enough to really make a big difference, the sourness would be overpowering.

                2. re: rasputina

                  The vinegar is supposed to make the crust more tender - to counteract possible overworking of the dough. There usually isn't enough of it used to serve the same purpose as the vodka does, which I understand is to add more liquid to the dough (to make it easier to work with) which will evaporate during the cooking process.