Pie Day!

It is Pie Day! You may be wondering what Pie Day is. Pie Day is the day before Thanksgiving that is the day that some foods (including pies) are prepared in advance for many big dinners tomorrow. Here at Majestic Mountain Sage we will work until noon so that we have time to go home and prepare those foods.

When I was a little girl, my mom always cooked and baked from scratch year-round. I have fond memories of breads, cookies, cakes and naturally, Mom’s pies. Mom always made her pies that had flaky, tender crusts and fillings that were bound to please. I remember different pies gracing our table during different periods of my childhood, peach, blueberry, apple, lemon meringue and pumpkin. Those pies were made with popular vote in mind, but there was one pie that was made without fail every Thanksgiving. Pecan pie. My dad loves pecan pie and he says my mom makes the best one he has ever had. While I haven’t had a chance yet to learn the secret to Mom’s pecan pie, I have learned a secret to making a pie dough that is even better than Mom’s.

Back in 2009, I shared a recipe for Blackberry Pie. This pie dough has been my only recipe for making pies ever since.You need to follow all the directions and there aren’t any possible substitutions, but the resulting crust is out of this WORLD! Here is the recipe for my favorite pie dough.

Foolproof Pie Dough

Makes one 9-inch pie with top crust or two 9-inch pies without a top crust.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water

Measure 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt and sugar into the food processor bowl. Pulse briefly until the ingredients are blended. Add butter and shortening and pulse until the flour mixture has been completely coated with butter and shortening. At this point, I think it looks like coarse cornmeal with some large clumps. Add the last cup of flour and pulse again until mixed. Pour the crumbles of dough into a medium mixing bowl. Add cold vodka and water to the crumbled dough and press with a rubber scraper to blend. Mix until the dough is tacky and holds together. Divide the dough into two halves and roll into balls. Flatten the balls into disks and then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minute and a maximum of 2 days.

Once the pie dough has chilled, remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the chilled dough on floured work surface and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle, leaving the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place the dough in a pie plate and adjust the dough to fit in the pie plate, while leaving the overhanging dough. Refrigerate while working on the filling.

What is your favorite kind of pie? Do you make your own or do you buy them from the store? Good luck preparing for the big turkey day!

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5 Comments

  • Dani says:

    All my Aunts came from Iowa farms and are incredible pie makers and I have never heard of vodka in a pie crust. I’m going to try this today!

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  • Lesley says:

    I can’t wait to try this. This is the first time I have heard about using vodka in a pie crust. I wanted to know the science behind it and found this “The alcohol adds moistness to the dough without aiding in gluten formation, since gluten doesn’t form in alcohol”. Gluten is what makes good bread and not good pie crust.

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  • Xenia says:

    Vodka! In pie crust?! My Russian grandmother would be so happy!

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  • If you’re making apple pie substitute the Vodka with Apple Jack! :-D

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    • Andee says:

      You could. I would think that perhaps the flavor may leave the balance of the pie on the apple heavy side and not allow the light buttery flavor that the crust has.

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