Skip to main content

Making Pie Dough-America's Test Kitchen Vodka Dough

How many of you watch America's Test Kitchen shows on your local PBS station?  Show of hands, please.  Well, those of you who don't have your hands raised really should check your local TV listings and catch one of the shows soon.  The programs are full of ideas and tips, like this suggestion that you can make a better pie dough using vodka as one of the ingredients.  I know, sounds crazy doesn't it?

Vodka Pie Dough
Pie dough is not my thing.  No, not at all.  Yes, I've been known to purchase the prepared pie dough from my local grocery store.  No, I'm not ashamed to admit it, and neither should you be.  My mom, keeps telling me that making pie dough is easy.  Yes, easy as pie.  Well, I'm finally willing to tackle the art of making pie dough.  I actually started about a year ago.  I selected different dough recipes, made some pies and compared the crust results.  I had no clear winner with my first attempt at the experiment, so I'm ready to start again.  The America's Test Kitchen vodka dough recipe is the first in the experiment.

The theory behind using vodka in the recipe is that the vodka will make a moist dough that is easy to roll out, but the alcohol will cook off quickly in the oven, making a flaky, tender crust.  That sounds good doesn't it?  Let's see how it comes out in application in the Just One Donna kitchen, shall we?

Vodka Pie Dough
Makes two crusts
Vodka Pie Crust Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Using a food processor, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, the salt and sugar, until combined, about two pulses.  Add the butter and shortening and process until the dough collects in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds.

Use both Butter and Shortening
Scrape the bowl with a spatula and distribute the dough evenly around the blade.  Add the remaining flour and pulse until the dough has been broken up.  That should take 4 to 6 pulses.

Ready to Remove from the Processor
Empty the mixture into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the water and vodka.  Use your spatula to fold the the mixture together until it is tacky and sticks together.

This is a Wet Pie Dough
Divide the dough into two equal disks.  Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, or up to 2 days.

Refrigerate Dough for up to Two Days
I used the dough to make a pumpkin pie.  The crust was crisp and tender, but not flaky.   Here are some notes from my first experience with this dough:
  • Be sure to use plenty of bench flour when you roll out the dough.  This is a wet dough that will stick unless you use enough flour.
  • Turn the dough frequently as you roll it out. making sure the dough moves freely on the counter.
  • My dough cracked and didn't stay perfectly rounded.  If that happens to you, you can easily patch the crust with a piece of the dough from another section.  Don't sweat it.
  • Be sure to pop the unbaked crust back into the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes before you bake it.
  • The crust on my pumpkin pie darkened quickly.  I had to cover the crust to keep it from over cooking.
Overall, this dough is easy to make, a little tricky to roll out, easy to fit into the pie plate and tender once baked.  You won't taste the vodka at all.



You can get the printable Vodka Pie Dough recipe by clicking the link.

Enjoy!

Comments

More Popular Posts

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with hearty bread. This bacon and eggs recipe delivers. Bacon and eggs or eggs and bacon? No matter, it is definitely the breakfast you want on those lazy mornings when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  This is a basted eggs recipe which means the eggs are cooked in bacon grease. Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread

Grandma's Soft and Chewy Date-Filled Cookies

One of the things I can count on as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons arrive each year is a feeling of nostalgia. The traditional foods we serve at our family's holiday tables can sure bring out all the feels. Now that it is officially cookie season, we should kick it off with an old-fashioned homemade date-filled cookie recipe. This is a soft, tender cookie with dates that is a special, nostalgic, family recipe.   An Old-Fashioned Date Cookies Recipe This old-fashioned, date-filled cookie was my dad's favorite cookie from his childhood. My dad was born in 1932 so this recipe has been around for quite a while. 

How to Doctor Up Store-Bought Potato Salad

Here's a potato salad time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts. You'll love how you can transform grocery store potato salad so easily no matter whether you are hosting a BBQ or bringing a side dish for a summer barbecue. When you need a quick potato salad, and no time to make one from scratch, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! How to Doctor Up Potato Salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having p

Crunchy, Spicy Gingersnap Cookies

Crunchy, spicy, and yummy are all words used to describe a good gingersnap cookie.   While my hands-down, favorite cookie is a gooey chocolate chip cookie I occasionally crave a spicy ginger snaps cookie or  this molasses cookie .  This old-fashioned gingersnap cookie is a winner.  It's easy to make and will be a favorite in your recipe rotation. Traditional Ginger Snaps Cookie Recipe ( This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated when you make a purchase with these links.) Gingersnaps Cookies In the U.S., gingersnaps are usually drop cookies with lots of cracks on the surface.  That's exactly how I like them.  Those found in other countries may be thinner and sliced.  The Lebkuchen, a traditional German cookie, and the pepparkakor, from Sweden, are often cut into festive shapes.  My gingersnaps are round. Reasons You'll Love These Gingersnap Cookies These gingersnaps are tasty cookies at any time of the year.   Their spiciness is perfect as a h

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies can be a huge annoyance at certain times of the year. What can you do to kill fruit flies? We've all been there wondering how to get rid of fruit flies.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. You don't have to tolerate the annoyance.  This homemade fruit fly trap is one I have been using for many years and it works every time. 

Traditional New England Whoopie Pies

Are you looking for the best whoopie pie recipe?  Whoopie pies are a quintessential New England dessert and a memorable treat from my childhood.   My mom would make them for us every once in a while.  Oh, what a treat to come home from school to a platter of chocolate whoopie pies!  Yum! Today I'm sharing my recipe for the best-ever whoopie pies. The Best Whoopie Pies Recipe without Marshmallow Fluff Whoopie Pies Whoopie pies are soft round cookie-like cakes with a smooth cream filling sandwiched in the center. Debate rages about where whoopie pies originated.  Some say these goodies originated in New England, others say they originated with the Amish.   There is also debate about what ingredients should be in the filling.  Many recipes include fillings made with Marshmallow Fluff or buttercream but neither is  traditional in my opinion.  The whoopie pie of my childhood is a traditional Maine whoopie pie recipe, made with a cooked flour and milk mixture added to sug

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering because the flavors are irresistible. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore on a tropical beach with your toes in the sand? Fruity rum drinks are perfect and rum punch is one of those perfect cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! Can you make a rum punch ahead of time?  This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or tripl

My Favorite Clam Dip

Hubby and I have a favorite restaurant that serves a to-die-for clam dip with freshly made potato chips.  Every once in a while we find ourselves craving that clam dip. It is easy to make the dip at home with a few ingredients, you may even have on hand now.  That makes this dip easy to whip together for a party or holiday gathering as well as watching the big game this weekend. A Clam Dip Perfect for Any Time of Year Yummy Clam Dip Make the clam dip a day or two ahead of serving for optimal flavor, but if you are like me you'll make it and eat it the same day. It's that good. While we love freshly made potato chips, we don't usually make our own.  A favorite brand of kettle chips is perfect for us. The recipe is perfect as is when served with crackers, vegetables, or thick-cut potato chips. You might want to thin the dip a bit with the reserved clam juice if you are serving it with thinner store-bought potato chips. The dip will thicken when refriger

Easy Chicken Parmesan-A Make Ahead Freezer Dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a favorite dinner in the Just One Donna house.  It's also a favorite restaurant menu choice. I like to keep Chicken Parmesan prepared in my freezer for those busy weeknights when we might be tempted to head to a restaurant instead of eating at home.  That way, we'll have a delicious dinner all ready to go into the oven and save money to boot.  What's not to like about that? Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Busy Families This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small compensation when you shop using these links Easy Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Dinner This Chicken Parmesan recipe is made with everyday ingredients in the spirit of semi-homemade. You may already have the ingredients you need in your pantry.   Chicken Parmesan Ingredients That makes this an easy recipe for any mom or dad to prepare in advance for those busy weeknight dinners. Make a double batch and you'll have a baked Chicken Parmesan dinner for tonight and anoth