Crust 3.14

November 17, 2011 at 09:35 | Posted in Desserts, Pies | Leave a comment

Truth be known I tend to buy my pie crusts since this is kind of involved, but it does work. This entry is also brought to you entirely via the WordPress app. We’ll see how that goes.

Delicate, flaky, flavorful pie crust. One that is intact enough to support and hug its filling, but light enough dissolve when eaten.



Soggy, tough, doughy, and ick pie crust.

Not noms.

With a bit of practice, and a bit of knowledge, most people can achieve a good pie crust. Not all people, but most.

The enemy of a perfect crust is gluten, aided and abetted by it’s sidekick water. Gluten is found in wheat and other grains, and it is formed when the flour is mixed with water. Gluten formation with bread is a good thing. With pie crust, not so good. Water makes it possible for gluten to exist, much like without the Joker there would be no Batman.

Were Batman a chemical reaction some are allergic to.

The friends of a perfect crust are vodka and lard or vegetable shortening.

I prefer shortening because I have a thing with the term lard.

I know that combining vodka and shortening sounds like a hazing ritual for a fraternity, but trust me, they are key to preventing the formation of gluten and making sure your pie crust is a delicious piece of Gotham City. Or Heaven.


Some science:
Vodka, a liquid, and depending on your brand, tends to be about 60% water and 40% alcohol. The moisture of the water and alcohol together make the dough workable, but the alcohol boils off in the baking process, stopping the formation of gluten, and allowing your crust to be the best it’s ever been. It turns out that having liquor on hand while cooking is not just to mix it at Thanksgiving.

Who knew?

Experiment with flavored vodkas. Making a Lemon Pie? Use Lemon vodka. Making a Chicken Pot Pie? Peppar or Ginger could be the way to go.

This advice coming from a self-proclaimed terrible baker may not be what you call “credible” but it’s a well-known secret. If that’s possible.


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