Flaky Pie Crust
1) Chilling the dough thoroughly before rolling it out
2) Keeping the butter cold
3) Not working the butter in too much
4) And VODKA
That's right my friends, in today's crust you will be throwing in a quarter cup of vodka. Now you don't just do this because using vodka is somehow cosmopolitan. No, no, there is a science behind it. Alcohol cooks out (so no worries about intoxicating anyone.) Therefore the vodka has the moisture required to bind your dough together, but when it is baked all that moisture is cooked out (unlike water). In turn you get the flakiest pie crust ever. And vodka is mild enough that you don't even taste it. Here's the skinny...
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter cubed (I usually cube the butter & then stick it back in the fridge until I need it)
1/2 cup cold shortening cubed
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup cold vodka
Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, salt & sugar until combined. Add butter & shortening cut in until crumbly mixture forms. Scrape bowl & add remaining flour & cut in until mixture is uniform. Sprinkle vodka & water over mixture & with a rubber spatula use a folding motion to mix the dough until it sticks together. Divide into 2 even balls & flatten into 2 inch thick discs. Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (or up to 2 days). Makes two 9 inch pie crusts. Fill with your favorite pie filling & cook as directed for the pie you're making. Enjoy!