Apple Pie with Vodka Pie Crust
I have seen the Cook's Illustrated pie crust with vodka before, but I have been hesitant to try it in the past. This year since we had to leave the Wednesday morning for Thanksgiving, and I had cookies to make, I was extra short on time for pie making. Since the Cook's Illustrated recipe is very simplistic and is constantly reviewed as being easy, I figured this was a good opportunity to try the vodka pie crust.
Well, I am glad I did. The crust came out great. It was very flakey and tastey. Very easy to roll out. This was definitely the EASIEST pie crust I have ever made. If you are short on time, or need to make a lot of pie crust-this is the crust to make. It will save you a lot of stress. I will definitely use this recipe again, but I won't totally replace my traditional pie crust recipe.
One tip I have if you try this receipe. The dough is very sticky. I rolled out my dough between two pieces of parchment, and then let it firm up again in the refrigerator before putting it on the pie dish to make it easier to handle. This worked much better.
Since I didn't bake this pie at home, I was only able to get one good shot of the cooked pie. But here are some of the pie, all assembled not uncooked.
2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Source: Cooks Illustrated
Apple Pie Filling
3 lbs. apples (I use Granny Smith)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbl. corn starch
1/3 cup apple cider
Peel, core and cut apples into about 1 inch thick slices. Place in a pot large enough to hold the apples with some extra room. Add the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the apples. Stir the mixture to coat the apples. Dissolve the corn starch into the apple cider. Mix this into the apple mixture. Turn the heat onto medium to start cooking the apples. Cook on medium heat for only about 10 minutes. The apples will slightly soften and wilt just a little. The sauce will start to thicken. Place the mixture in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until it is cool. Once the apple filling is cool, scoop it into a prepared pie shell, and cover the top with another layer of pie shell. Seal the two crusts together. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 and continue baking for another 40 to 50 minutes, until the filling bubbles and the crust looks golden.