Pie Crust

Makes enough for 1 9" pie top and bottom, or two bottom 9" crusts. Works very well if you keep it cold, avoid over mixing, and not handling it too much. The vodka and cold water both inhibit gluten formation and keep the crust tender. Pastry flour works best, but all purpose flour is fine.

2-1/2 c flour, unbleached all purpose or pastry
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp butter, unsalted, cold, cut into small pieces
1/2 c shortening, vegetable oil, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 c vodka
1/4 c ice water

Place 1-1/2 c. of flour in bowl, add salt and sugar and stir. Add fats. Using a pastry blender and working against the side of the bowl, mix in the fats until it looks like cottage cheese. Add remaining flour, vodka and water. Fold to combine. When most of the dough is gathered together, quickly lump into a ball, divide in two, tightly wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Flour counter-top, place ball on flour, flour top of dough. Working from the center roll into a 12 inch round, flipping with a pastry scraper halfway through. Seal together any cracks at the edge while rolling. If the dough is getting warm, place between parchment and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge or 5 minutes in the freezer. Roll dough around the rolling pin and roll over the top of the pie plate. Lift the edges and gently press the dough into the edges of the pie plate. Trim edge to 1/2 inch (for untopped pie) or 3/4 inch for topped pie. Fold the edge under, and the using your forefinger and thumb on one hand and your forefinger on the other, flute the edge.

Place in fridge covered loosely with plastic for 30 minutes to an hour before baking or filling.