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Oct 7, 2011 07:41 AM

Can the CI's vodka pie crust be made with all butter?

I would rather not use shortening, has anyone tried it using all butter? I would be willing to seek out leaf lard but not sure I could get it in time. I have been making all butter crusts with inconsistent results using the following proportions:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter

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  1. There is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't work.

    1. I do it all the time. I have found their straight up recipe makes a crust that is too loose/soft; sometimes I need to add more flour to get it stiff enough to lift. Other than that, very forgiving.

      1. The butter has to be cold -- I'd also refrigerate my board and rolling pin if you can, as well as the forks, pastry blender, and whatever else will touch it.

        Butter-based crusts have an almost sandy consistency, and are notoriously difficult to work...they're tasty, but so fragile that they'll crumble if you look at them wrong.

        1. I'm assuming you mean to include the vodka, too? I made their vodka pie crust recipe with all butter while at my parents' house last summer and it turned out very well. It wasn't as easy to work with as the shortening-butter recipe, but the finished taste and texture were delicious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Isolda

            Yes, using the vodka. I have been using a pastry blender on my all butter crust as I am nervous about over working the dough, but I will follow the CI recipe just swapping butter for shortening.

            1. re: jules127

              Use the FP and you won't be disappointed. If you've never made this particular recipe before, be warned, the texture of the dough is almost like fondant and you'll think you failed, but just follow the directions and you won't go wrong.

              1. re: jules127

                I used all butter and halved the vodka for the last crust I made and it was excellent. No need to worry about swapping all butter, and halving the vodka didn't seem to have any adverse affects either.

                ETA: Here is an article by the guy who developed the CI recipe, which explains the science behind it. He developed another recipe that uses all butter and no vodka at all, which apparently works just as well:

                1. re: biondanonima

                  Every time someone posts that second recipe, I am reminded that I must try it! Keep getting distracted...