Fool Proof Pie Crust

  1. Makes double crust

    2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12.5 ounces)
    1 teaspoon table salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (6 oz), cut into 1/4-inch slices
    1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening (3.2 oz) , cut into 2 pieces
    1/4 cup vodka , cold
    1/4 cup ice cold water

    1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and shortening and pulse 8-10 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with small pea size pieces of butter. Empty the mixture in a medium bowl. 

    2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide and flatten dough into two 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (Note: the dough will be very tacky, lightly flour when making dividing and flattening the discs)

    3. Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.

    4 Add filling to the pie.

    5 Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Gently pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together, then trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork. Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.

    Brush on egg white and sprinkle with white sugar right before baking yields  glossy and beautiful crust when baked.