vodka pie crust questions
will make my first pie crust soon using the ATK vodka recipe. My other baking experienc tells me that I can't rely solely on measurements, ie pay attention to how the crust feels and looks. in adifferent thread someone said the dough will be more like fondant. I'm not all that familiar with fondant, so please tell me what I should be seeing/feeling in my dough. Any suggestions is appreciated.
IME it's not noticeably different, texture-wise, at least at the construction stage. What is different is that it seems to be more tolerant of handling and is more pliable once you start to work with it.
Stick to what you already know to be the right look and feel when you're putting it together. If you already know how to make decent piecrust, your result can only improve with the vodka version.
I don't normally make vodka pie crust, as I can get similar results with water and I figure why waste vodka. But, vodka really is great when you're just starting out, and knowing that you need to pay attention to the look and feel puts you way ahead of the pack.
I look for three things: texture once I've cut in all your fat, texture when I add my water, and thickness when I roll it out. Cut in your fat until it has the texture of breadcrumbs. It should be well incorporated, but the flour-fat crumbs might be a little bigger than you think they should be. Each time I make a pie crust, I run my fingers through a couple times to make sure it feels right. I recommend you start doing this from the beginning, even if you don't quite know what to look for, because you'll learn from it.
Second thing to look for is texture when you put in the water (vodka). It should be less wet than you expect. It should barely come together, but it will be fine. However, it shouldn't be too dry or it will be hard to roll out. This is hard to describe (and I don't really know what fondant is like). This is the most difficult part, and it will come from experience.
The third thing is the thickness. When I first started making pie crust, I rolled it far too thin in the middle, and unevenly around the edges. What's the right thickness? My rule of thumb is that about 1 1/3 cups of flour should be enough for my 10 inch fluted quiche pan with a fair amount of overlap. It takes practice.
As long as you pay attention to everything, and make small adjustments, you'll get it. You really just have to keep at it! My preferred way to keep at it: quiches using leftovers and tarts with seasonal fruit. Mmm.