When I lived in Switzerland, good quality, pre-made (pre-rolled!) pie crust was available in every supermarket. So making a quiche or pie (tarte) was fairly quick and simple. Moving back to the US, I realized that unless I was willing to make my own crust, pies and quiches were going to become a thing of the past.
Making pie crust was always a very daunting thing and I tended to avoid it at all costs. Aching hands, crusts that broke and were never quite big enough to cover the pan. Long story short: It always ended up a patchwork disaster.
That is until I discovered the best pie crust recipe EVER. Cook’s Illustrated’s “Foolproof Pie Dough” is a life changer. I don’t know if the vodka is the magic ingredient but now my pie crusts are not only flaky and taste great. They have the perfect elasticity so that I can roll them out perfectly thin and even have left over scraps!
However, let’s not kid ourselves. It still takes time. So I like to make my pie crusts in advance. Once you get the hang of it, you can knock out 6 -12 pie crusts in an hour. Then pop them in the freezer where they will keep for a few months until you need them or you can refrigerate for a few days. I use the same pie crust recipe for both pies and quiche.
Tips for Making An Awesome Pie Crust
- Follow the recipe carefully. Make sure your water, vodka and butter are cold. I use ice water, keep my vodka in the freezer, my butter and vegetable shortening in the fridge, taking them out as I need them.
- The food processor times are pretty accurate so don’t over-process.
- My only suggestion is to NOT all add your liquids at once. Start with about 2/3 of the amount of water and vodka called for and add the rest if needed. Your crust can be a bit sticky as you can will generously flour your worktop when you roll it out.
- As mentioned above, flour your work surface, rolling pin and piecrust well before rolling so it doesn’t stick. When I first start rolling the crust, I turn it several times to make sure I have enough flour on the surface to keep it from sticking.
Be brave – your family will thank you!