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
- Pastry Cutter
- Bench Scraper
- 172 grams Butter
- 270 grams All Purpose Flour
- 68 grams Cake/Pastry Flour
- 48 Grams Crisco Butter Flavoured
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 60 ml Vodka Ice Cold
- 60 ml Water Ice Cold
- 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.
- 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.