Lynda's Vodka Pie Crust (Just Add Salt)

This recipe makes a double crust for a 9-inch pie pan. For best results, chill all ingredients before you begin. Cold ingredients allow the butter to create little pockets of fat that help the dough puff up in the oven. In warm weather, refrigerating even the bowl of the food processor, the rolling pin and the flour will make a difference. I use a combination of water and vodka because vodka is 40% ethanol, which cooks off during baking and will not turn into gluten, creating an incredibly light and flaky crust.

By | March 15, 2018




1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)

¼ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 8 pieces

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup chilled vodka

Up to 1/2 cup ice water


1. Cut butter into ½-tablespoon chunks. Place butter and shortening on parchment paper on a dinner plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse 5 to 6 times to combine. Refrigerate ingredients in food processor bowl for 1 hour. Using cold tongs (not your fingers), add butter and shortening and pulse 7 to 8 times until the butter is in dice-size pieces.

3. Add vodka and ¼ cup of ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, and pulse until the dough begins to come together, about 7 to 8 times. 

4. Pinch the dough with your fingers; if it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, and pulse until it comes together. Dough should be moist enough to hold together when pinched. Do not overwork dough or crust will turn chewy instead of flaky.

5. Transfer dough to a large cutting board and divide in half. Gently pat into 2 round discs, each 5 to 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. For pies with top and bottom crusts, make one disk about 20% larger.

6. Wrap dough in plastic and label the larger disc as the bottom crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

7. To Roll Out & Bake Dough: Remove dough from refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling. Sprinkle dough and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14- to 15-inch circle. Butter pie pan.

8. Gently roll dough circle halfway around rolling pin and unroll it into the pie pan.

9. Use kitchen scissors to trim edges to a consistent 11/2-inch overhang. Roll the edge of the crust under itself, in a trumpet-like fashion, into a interconnected rope, resting it on the edge of the pie pan. Reserve dough scraps.

10. Flute pie dough by holding your bent index and middle fingers 1 inch apart and using your opposite thumb to press against them. Repeat at equal intervals along the rim of pie. Freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight.

11. To Blind Bake the Crust: Preheat oven to 400°. Make a basket out of heavy foil and nestle inside the frozen pie shell. Push foil up against sides of crust and fill completely with pie weights or dried beans. Work quickly so crust stays frozen. 

12. Bake crust for 15 minutes, until the edge is beginning to brown and crust is firm enough not to shrink into pie pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

13. Remove foil basket and weights and bake crust for an additional 10 minutes, until bottom of crust is dry and golden brown. Foil basket can be reused several times. Cover crust edge with foil or a pie shield if necessary to prevent over-browning. Cool completely, but don’t refrigerate. 

14. Gently lift cooked pie crust from pan. Check bottom and sides of crust for cracks or holes. Just before filling pie, patch holes in the bottom of crust with rolled out dough scraps so filling has no chance to leak through crust.

15. Fill pie with your choice of filling and bake as instructed. Gently cover edge of pie with foil or a pie shield if baking again. 

About this recipe

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