Luxury Pie Dough

Pie dough ready for a rest in the fridge

It’s that time of the year for Christmas baking. My first project this year is Pie Dough for mincemeat pies and for another pie or two for the holiday season.

A good pie dough recipe is a tough thing to find and everyone’s idea of what a pie crust should be is a bit different.

I strive for a crust that is crispy and flaky.

Over the past couple of months, I have listened to some Instagram Live chats on all things baking hosted by Lesley Chesterman with Nick Malgeri as the guest. These two are old friends and both have definite ideas on what pastry should be. Based on several months of watching the chats it appears that I strive for the impossible.

Since pies are usually a one of, and are usually be shared with guests, I kind of figure that going all out when you have a good recipe is the thing to do.

In the quest for a great pie dough I’ve tinkered over the past couple of years by combining a couple of recipes – one from Martha Stewart and one from Americas Test Kitchen – to come up with my version of pie dough.

Lots of pictures after the recipe.

So here goes:

Luxury Pie Dough

HolidayBakerMan
Makes 2 rounds - enugh for a double crusted pie

Equipment

  • Pastry Cutter
  • Bench Scraper

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams Butter
  • 270 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 68 grams Cake/Pastry Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Crisco Butter Flavoured
  • 60 ml Vodka Ice Cold
  • 60 ml Water Ice Cold

Instructions
 

  • Cut the butter into cubes about 5mm square and return to the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
  • Pour vodka and water in to a measuring cup and store in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flours, salt, and sugar.
  • Add the butter cubes and toss them to cover in the flour mixture.
  • Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter. The general consensus is to cut the butter to the size of small peas. Don't go too small and some larger chunks are just fine.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour butter mixture and add the vodka and water.
  • Mix with a fork until the liquid has been absorbed and there is not a lot of loose flour at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto the counter and with your hands gently gather together into a square mass about 2 cm high.
  • Cut the square in half with a knife or your bench scraper.
  • With the banch scraper take one half of the dough and put it on top of the other. Press any scattered bits of the dough into the sides.
  • With your hands press the rectangular dough mass together until the dough is 2 cm high again.
  • Cut this mass in half again and repeat the stacking and pressing. Do this one more time for a total of 3 folds.
  • Once you have completed the layering, cut the dough in half again. Wrap in plastic wrap and form into a round eeping the height about the same.
  • Using the bench scraper flat side press down on the plastic covered round until it is about 1 cm high.
  • Chill at least one hour or freeze for another occasion.

 

Why the Luxury description? Here in Vancouver Vodka is a pricey ingredient to use so the Luxury description seemed apt.

Seems like a lot of steps but once the butter is chilled putting the dough together is pretty fast. Done and in the fridge in under 10 minutes. It takes me longer to clean up.

Use one round for a single crust pie and two rounds for a double-crust pie.

Bakers Notes:

  • use 120 ml of iced water in place of the vodka water mixture for a more budget-friendly recipe
  • I’ve used the two flours and the two fats to make the dough as flaky as possible. Using one flour and one fat, in my experience, will produce a great result just not the Luxury result
  • I have successfully used flavoured vodka. The flavour bakes off.

I hope you can make and enjoy this pie dough.

 

Butter and Crisco ready to be chilled. I made 2 batched of dough this time.
Sifting the flours, salt, and sugar
Adding the chilled butter and crisco
Flour coated butter
Fully cut in butter
Adding the vodka and water
After the liquids have been mixed in with a fork
Dough turned out onto the counter
The dough patted together and cut in half
Hard to tell, one half on top of the other
The dough patted down and cut in half again
The dough stacked after the third time patting down and cutting
Cross section of the dough showing layers. The layers here should bake up nice and crisp.
The dough ready for the fridge or freezer. Wrapped in plastic and flattened with the bench scraper.

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

Pie is one of those things I am getting better at. It’s the baking that kills me. Finding that spot where the crust has completely baked and the filling is properly cooked has been pretty difficult.

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February 2015

It has been a long while since I last posted. It’s been a couple of years getting over a heart problem and getting back to a reasonable facsimile of health. With that out of the way I am going to try and get back to posting.In 2015 I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas and take a European holiday. We travelled to Barcelona on a cruise that departed Ft. Lauderdale and made its way to Funchal, Portugal and then along the Southern Spanish coast to Barcelona. An excellent 2 week journey. After a few days in Barcelona we headed to Amsterdam for the tulip fields. Then it was off to the Mannheim area to visit friends and then to Munich to spend some time with family before returning home to Vancouver.

But I digress….

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Carrot Ginger Layer Cake – for a Summer Pot Luck

 
With summer coming to a close we were invited to a work colleagues home for a pot luck supper. These are always great fun!

I was requested to make a carrot cake. A favourite around our house but there is always way too much for the two of us to enjoy – responsibly.

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