>I’ve never really understood the phrase “easy as pie.” In my experience, pie is one of the most difficult things to bake. One must make or obtain the pie crust, mix up ingredients, throw it all together and then make sure that everything goes off as planned (no falling custards or over-sweetened pies). It is easy, I admit, to simply go to the grocery and pay far too much for a pre-made crust laden with hydrogenated oils of unpronounceable ingredients that are already rolled out and ready to go.
But making your own crust is really not terribly difficult, and think how impressed your friends will be when you tell them that you made your own pie crust from scratch — from 4 ingredients! Really, that’s it. And these crusts will keep for weeks in the fridge, so a pie for a work party this week, something else the next! I went ahead and wrote this as a double batch, because I usually like to make two at a time, even if I’m not doing a double crust pie. I use the extra crust for quiche on a Saturday breakfast.
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (you could probably use margarine if you prefer)
1/4 cup plain vodka (yes, vodka — it won’t taste like alcohol once it bakes, trust me)
1/4 cup cold water
Pour the flour into a large bowl, then cut in the butter. Mix until very mealy and butter is evenly distributed. Next, dump in the water and vodka, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a blob (it’s a technical term).
On a cutting board, divide the dough into two balls, then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours. I usually do overnight.
When ready to use, roll out very thin (this is the hardest part!), and place into your pie pan, poking with a fork a few times. Fill with your chosen filling and bake! (Hopefully you’re better at rolling the dough than me!)