By substituting vodka for some of the water in this recipe, it allows for much more moisture to be added to the dough without building up tough gluten. As a result, this is an absolute *dream* to roll out. It does not crack and misbehave as most pie dough recipes do.
In fact this dough can be rather sticky and some suggest rolling out pie crust between two pieces of plastic wrap, repositioning the plastic every few movements. You can also safely use copious amounts of flour on your work surface without fear of a tough dough.
Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Add 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):
- 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
Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade.
Add and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses:
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle over mixture:
- 1/4 cup cold vodka
- 1/4 cup cold water
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.
After being rolled out to 12 inches, each crust should be placed on a cookie sheet and refrigerated for 10-15 minutes to firm up before baking.
Source: America’s Test Kitchen