I happened upon a pie dough recipe that called for vodka and used words like “fool proof.” Naturally I was intrigued. The trick with the alcohol is to prevent gluten formation in the dough which can make it difficult to roll and prone to cracking.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 –inch pieces & chilled
8 tbsp. vegetable shortening cut into ¼ –inch pieces & chilled
¼ cup of vodka chilled
¼ cup ice water chilled
Process 1 ½ cups of flour, sugar, and salt in food processor (about 5 seconds).
Scatter butter & shortening onto mix and continue to process until uneven chunks begin to form and no visible flour remains (approx. 15 seconds).
Scrape down bowl and redistribute evenly around the blade.
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of flour on top of mix.
Pulse to break up.
Sprinkle vodka and ice water over mix.
Process until mix becomes cohesive and uniform forming into a dough ( about 15 to 20 seconds).
Divide dough into two even pieces and form into 4 inch disks using two plastic freezer bags.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before rolling out in to the bottom and top pieces of the pie crust.
¾ cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 1 tsp. of lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
2 lbs. McIntosh apples peeled, cored, halved, and sliced into ¼ inch slices
1 ½ lbs. Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, halved, and sliced into ¼ inch slices
1 large egg white lightly beaten
Mix ¾ cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl.
Add lemon juice and apples and toss until combined.
Spread apples with their juices into dough lined pie plate; mound them nice and high.
Drape the top pie crust over the pie leaving the edges draped.
Pinch the edges joining the bottom and top crusts neatly then trim the edges.
Brush the top crust with the egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
Cut 4 slits in the top to vent.
Heat oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit with baking sheet inside.
Reduce temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place pie on heated pie sheet and bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes).
Let cool for 4 hours to allow the filling to set completely.