I've always read cookbooks. I remember reading "The Peter Max Cookbook" in grade school, and there were several disasters courtesy of Fannie Merrit Farmer's "Boston Cooking School" cookbook. My favorite has always been "The Joy of Cooking" because that talks about food science. In THIS century, I discovered Cook's Illustrated. Holy Schmoly! The how, the why, and the what of REGULAR food-the secret to oven roasted potatoes, buttermilk biscuits that aren't hockey pucks, real food for my house!!!
This morning, I took a peek at my HOMETOWN newspaper-not East Cupcake, but Colorado Springs, and guess what I found?? Cook's Illustrated's recommended pie crust. The secret ingredient is VODKA, which could be right handy if you goof up the pie. Or anything at dinner. Or you hate your guests and wish they would go away. It's perfect for the season! And probably perfect for all of you that left me shots of tequila under the Christmas tree. (You notice I got rid of the underpants and condoms under my tree in the last post....it's gone if it happens again.)
So in the spirit of giving, I present you with:
Foolproof pie dough
Yield: 1 (9-inch double crust
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup each cold vodka and cold water
1. In food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds, and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1 cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4-6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until it is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4" disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Source: Cook's Illustrated Magazine