Leftover vodka?


Who would have thought that your leftover vodka could make a pie crust even more delicious?  Not me, until this weekend, when a two dollar 5-lb bag of apples and pears at the Union Square Farmer’s Market basically twisted my arm into making pie.  I quickly looked through some old Cook’s Illustrated magazines, and in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue (pages 22-23), there was a recipe for awesome pie crust that can be found here or on the Cook’s Illustrated site if you log in for a free trial.

These are my changes to the recipe, and I was very happy with them:

  • I used all whole wheat flour.
  • Skipped adding the sugar, and added less salt.
  • I only used the 1 1/2 sticks of butter – no shortening.  You don’t need it.  Trust me.  Besides, shortening is disgusting.
  • I needed almost 3 cups of flour, instead of 2.5 they suggest.

These are my notes/suggestions for next time:

  • I wish I used all vodka and no water, and slightly less than the 1/4 cup total.  I bet it would be good.
  • I wish I let the crust rest for longer than 45 minutes in the fridge.
  • Wow! I rolled out the crust between two pieces of wax paper and needed no flour dusting and it was remarkably easy to deal with.
  • Next time, I’ll start the pie at 375 for 30 minutes, turn and then 325 for 30.  Even on the bottom rack, the top crust cooked too quickly.  I had to foil cover my edges.
  • Perhaps one of these pie-making days, I’ll actually blind bake the crust.

For the filling, I just used sliced, peeled apples that I heated slowly over low heat for 20 minutes in a covered dutch oven (as Cook’s recommends — don’t let them get above 140 degrees) with sprinkled cinnamon and a tiny bit of ginger on them. I added sliced pear to that mixture after it cooled down. I never add sugar to an apple or pear pie.  Totally unnecessary.

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6 Responses to Leftover vodka?

  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am definitely going to try this crust for my next pie. Crusts made by me are usually subpar.

  2. syntk says:

    Great. I will be making it again, I think, since I have a lot of apples and pears left over (I already had quite a few before I bought the 5-lb bag). The next time I try it, I will try all vodka and no water. Also, I’d like to try more of a coarser flour. I used Arrowhead Mills Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, and I think it might have been too fine. I’m not sure. I’m going to look for some local (fresher) stuff at the market this week.

  3. syntk says:

    I had some leftover pie crust from the batch I mentioned above, and I rolled it out and baked it after 1 full day in the fridge. It was much flakier. Therefore, I very much recommend making the crust the day before you make the pie.

  4. Erin says:

    In my line of work, there is never any leftover vodka.

  5. […] of local, NY apples 89¢ per pound.  Pie […]

  6. […] uses a whole bottle of red wine!  If you’ve got too much vodka left over, you can use it in pie crust, but that doesn’t use up much […]

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