This versatile All Butter Vodka Pie Dough recipe is superior in flavor & texture, baking up with a desirably buttery, tender, flaky crust.
Yes. Homemade pie dough can feel overwhelming and fickle. But, it doesn’t have to. This simple All Butter Vodka Pie Dough Recipe makes a reliable pie dough that tastes great and bakes up beautifully, every single time. Dare we call it, the perfect pie dough? I sure do love it!
My All Butter Vodka Pie Dough indeed uses all butter. No shortening here. And, there is also some vodka mixed into the dough. Both ingredients play into the texture and flavor of the buttery baked pie crust. If you aren’t into the idea of vodka, apple cider vinegar is a great stand-in. Try my Basic All Butter Pie Dough, it uses all of the same principles without the alcohol.
- Butter tastes best
- Why vodka in pie crust?
- Secrets ingredients for tender, flaky pie crust
- Techniques for perfect pie dough
- Tools for making the best pie dough
- Additional methods and tools for making pie dough
- All Butter Vodka Pie Dough can be used for traditional single or double crust pies, hand pies & galettes
- Practice makes perfect pie dough
- 📖 Recipe
Butter tastes best
It’s really up to you on the type of fat you use in your pie dough. Shortening may be a bit easier to work with when making pie dough from scratch. But, once you have an understanding of technique, butter will be your best bud. Plus, butter tastes so much better. For me, taste trumps looks any day of the week.
The best pie dough recipe should be simple. We are all after that tender, flaky pie crust with no soggy bottom problems. A good pie dough recipe is all about quality ingredients and smart pie baking techniques.
Why vodka in pie crust?
Vodka is the secret to crisp and flaky pie dough. Vodka evaporates more quickly than water during the baking process. This removes moisture from the crust quickly, creating flakiness. The result is an even, crispy pie crust. Think of it like a flaky and buttery croissant. Don’t worry, the alcohol completely bakes away, too. You won’t notice any vodka flavor.
*Pro Tip: Vodka won’t freeze, so store your vodka in the freezer so it is ready and ice cold when you need it for pie dough or cocktails!
Secrets ingredients for tender, flaky pie crust
Especially something with a higher fat content like a European style butter, gives the pie dough superior flavor and an ultra flaky crumble when baked. Plus, the more fat in the butter, the better it is going to hold its structure in the oven. Higher butter fat = prettier pies. Unsalted is best, that way you as a baker can control the salt levels in your pie dough.
All Purpose Flour
Basic APF is all you need here. It’s the binder that provides structure and holds all of the ingredients together. I personally prefer Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour but you can use any you prefer.
Sugar gently sweetens the pie dough, leveling out that buttery flavor with a hint of sweetness. It helps hold structure integrity too! If making a savory pie, you can omit the sugar. Or use just a scant teaspoon instead.
Salt also enhances the buttery flavor and allows the mild sweetness to come through in a balanced flavor combo. This All Butter Pie Dough recipe uses a pretty hefty amount of salt. I find it gives the pie crust a lot of character. If it feels like too much, cut down the amount. I always use fine sea salt but you can substitute simple table salt or kosher salt if you prefer.
Techniques for perfect pie dough
Keep it cool
By keeping the butter and vodka ice cold, you are ensuring a more tender pie dough. This allows the ingredients to mix up rustically, preventing over-mixing.
Don’t overwork it
Only mix the pie dough until it just starts to come together in crumbly, pea sized granules. If you completely mix the butter into the flour, you end up creating a homogeneous pie dough that falls flat. You want some texture in there, creating air pockets that puff up and expand in the heat. This makes for lots of flakes and a crisp outer pie crust.
Give it a squeeze
Once mixed together, the all butter pie dough should look mealy with pea-sized clumps of butter. Not smooth and even. It’s ok to have some dry bits of flour, they will be absorbed when you form the dough disks. The dough should just come together when you grab a fistful and gently squeeze it together. This is how you know it’s properly mixed!
Gather & Pat
No need to knead pie dough. When shaping the dough into disks, you just want to gather and at the pie dough together. If you knead the dough, it'll become overworked and bake up leathery instead of tender and flaky.
Give the pie dough time to age and develop
Once you’ve mixed the All Butter Vodka Pie Dough together, it needs some time on its own. By allowing the pie dough to rest in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, up to 24 hours, it will develop more character. The dough will also be easier to work with once it’s had time to hang for a bit.
Tools for making the best pie dough
- Bench Scraper - helps for cutting or dividing the dough. And makes clean up a cinch!
- Pastry blender - use it to cut the butter into the flour, quickly and efficiently.
- Fork - a great tool during the last step of mixing the vodka into the dough.
- Rolling pin - a heavy, duty rolling pin helps roll out the All Butter Vodka Pie Dough into a nice, even sheet.
Additional methods and tools for making pie dough
- Box Grater - instead of cutting butter cubes into the dry ingredients, try grating the butter with a box grater. This is an efficient and approachable method for mixing pie dough.
- Food processor - for quick and efficient pie dough mixing, blend the ingredients together in a food processor. Starting with the dry ingredients and cold, cubed butter. Then slowly pour in the vodka, while gently pulsing. Careful not to over-mix the dough.
- Two butter knives - if you don’t have a pastry blender or food processor, using 2 butter knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients works like a champ! It just might take a little longer.
- Hands - and if you are really in a pinch. Just pinch that butter into the dry ingredients by hand. Heat is your enemy so work fast. And if your hands run hot, run them under some cold water first!
All Butter Vodka Pie Dough can be used for traditional single or double crust pies, hand pies & galettes
Whatever your pie dough needs, this versatile All Butter Pie Crust is there for you. This foolproof pie crust recipe makes 1 double crust pie, 2 single crust pies, 2, 4, 6 or 8 galettes depending on the size or roughly 12-16 hand pies, depending on the size. Plus, the pie dough freezes very well. It will last at least a couple of months if wrapped up tightly in the freezer. So, you can make big batches of pie dough ahead of time and freeze it until you need it. Just give the pie dough about 90 minutes - 2 hours to defrost on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
Practice makes perfect pie dough
Pie crust can be tricky. If you add too much moisture you've got a sticky mess on your hands, literally. If you overwork the dough, you have a thick and chewy homogenized crust with blah flavor and none of that flaky textured crust. It's a delicate process that takes some getting used to. But if you use my pie dough tips, techniques and tricks listed above, you’ll soon be baking perfect pies.
There you have it. The more pie you make, the more comfortable you will get with your dough. So, this is me personally endorsing you to bake a whole bunch of pies in the name of personal development. Just keep rolling and you'll get it! Plus, you get to eat all of the yummy rewards! This All Butter Vodka Pie Dough recipe is your new baking bestie.Print