The Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

A little late for “Pi” day, but . . .

I have spent years testing different recipes—and underlying philosophies—in the search for the elusive perfect crust. I believe I have found it, if the frequent requests for this recipe are any indication.

This basic pie crust will be your go-to staple. Durable, delectable, and easy to make.

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Aside from measuring cups, spoons, and bowls, you’ll also want to use a standard food processor in making this recipe.

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter—right out of the refrigerator and cut into small cubes: length-wise, lengthwise, the other way, then cut down the middle.
  • 2 oz cream cheese—cut into small pieces. (This ingredient is inevitably sticky, so don’t worry if you have to pull apart little gobs to get it into small pieces.)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar—I like white sugar for fruit pies or brown sugar for winter pies, but both are lovely.
  • 1 tsp salt

Wet:

  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon frozen vodka* taken right out the freezer
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon cold tap water, combined with above vodka

*Keep vodka handy to add more as needed

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined.

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  1. Incorporate the cream cheese to the flour mixture, pulsing 5–6 times until the cream cheese is incorporated.

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  1. Add the butter to the mixture, pulsing 10–12 times until no big chunks remain, and the mixture readily sticks together between your fingers.

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  1. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the cold vodka and ice water. If it is still dry, keep adding vodka—it burns off during the cooking process, so you really can’t add too much!
  1. Separate the dough into two discs and wrap them tightly in plastic, press them down into flat circles (this saves tons of time when rolling them out) and chill for about a half hour.  The dough will be STICKY—but part of its indestructibility is its capacity to take more flour.  Start with a generous 1/3 cup of flour when rolling it out and go from there!

You can also freeze the wrapped discs to use later! The results speak for themselves . . .

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More to follow from this pie guy . . .

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16 thoughts on “The Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

    • The vodka evaporates and (1) allows you to add more liquid; and (2) leaves the end product flakey. The cream cheese gives it slight tang and help the crust hold together better—it’s far better than vegetable shortening. I can’t wait to hear how your pie turns out!

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