Not just for mixed drinks, vodka is a key ingredient in pie crusts.
Whether you are baking for the holidays or celebrating Pi day, a flaky, tender crust is a key step in making a delicious pie.
Why add vodka?
- Adding vodka to the dough creates a moister dough which easier to work with. (Raise your hand if you’ve battled scraping off the sticky dough fingers before)
- The ethanol in the vodka stops the gluten in the flour from binding, making for a more tender and flaky crust.
(Image credit: Food Network)
Why it works:
According to Cook’s Illustrated, “Eighty-proof vodka is 60 percent water and 40 percent alcohol. Unlike water, alcohol does not contribute to the formation of gluten, the network of proteins that can cause a crust to turn leathery.”
By using vodka instead of water, you can add more liquid to your dough, making it easier to roll, while still limiting the gluten development that can threaten to turn your tender dough tough. As the crust bakes, most of the ethanol ends up vaporizing into the air and you’re left with a crust that’s flaky and tender with no trace of the alcohol flavor.
What’s your favorite kind of pie? Comment below!