Monday, November 11, 2013

Vodka Pie Dough with a Food Processor Video

I am starting a pie/tart dough video series to get my dear readers ready for Thanksgiving. If you have a food processor with 7-cup capacity or larger, it’s the best way to make dough. If not, hang tight till next week and I’ll post a video for making the dough by hand.

YouTube Link: Pie Dough with a Food Processor and Vodka
More Videos: Helen's Kitchen Channel

Pie Dough Recipe
For one 9-inch Double-Crust Pie( or two 11- inch tarts)
Works for both sweet and savory dishes

Cold unsalted butter, sliced 1/4 inch thick -- 10 oz / 284 grams / 2.5 sticks
Unbleached all-purpose flour for the food processor -- 7.5 oz / 213 grams / 1.5 cups
Unbleached all-purpose flour in a large bowl -- 5 oz / 142 grams / 1 cup
Salt -- 5.7 grams / 2 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher or 1 tsp table salt
Granulated Sugar -- 0.9 oz / 25 grams / 2 Tbsp
Ice cold water -- 2.1 oz / 60 grams / 1/4 cup
Chilled Vodka -- 1.9 oz / 54 grams / 1/4 cup (Put it in the freezer to chill for about an hour -- it won’t freeze. Just make sure to keep it covered, so the alcohol doesn't evaporate.)
  1. Chill the butter in the fridge at least for 15 minutes after slicing.
  2. Process 7.5 oz flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 one-second pulses (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). 
  3. In a large bowl, measure 5 oz flour (1 cup). Add the butter flour mixture from the food processor to this bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until no more flour streaks remain.
  4. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. Mix with a large spoon until no more loose liquid remains. Remove half the dough out of the bowl. Squeeze the dough remaining in the bowl together to form a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic. Move the second half of dough back into the bowl, squeeze into a disk and wrap. 
  5. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. The dough can also be frozen for several months (wrapped tightly in plastic and placed in a freezer bag).
This recipe is an adaptation of Kenji Alt's recipe.  You can find more of Kenji's great writing at SeriousEats Food Lab


Sally said...

Helen, I just made several batches of this dough for my Thanksgiving pies! I have tried Kenji's method and done lots of comparisons, and in the end I think this is just the easiest, most fool-proof way to go. I've never used the vodka though! I usually use my hands (or more precisely fingertips) to toss everything together in the 2 steps after the dough goes into the bowl. That way I can easily feel if I have enough liquid. Then I dump the crumbs of dough onto the countertop, separate into 2 piles, and firmly squish them into disks without much kneading. Anyway, there's my 2 cents. Have a very happy Thanksgiving. I will be thinking of you as I enjoy PIE (my very favorite dessert!)

Helen said...

Hi Sally,

I'll be thinking of you on Thanksgiving too! Hope you are well. Can you say more about what you have tried and how it worked. If you haven't used vodka, which part of Kenji's method have you tried -- separating flour into 2 parts? You mention that you use your hands to judge whether you have enough liquid. I believe that only works for experienced bakers. I've never met a newbie who can judge anything when it comes to baking.

Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,

I really enjoyed your appearance on Chronicle. I would like to make your rustic tart.
I found the the dough recipe but would like the rest of the recipe.
Can you tell me where I can find it?



Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,

Where can I find your recipe for a rustic apple tart?
I really enjoyed your recent appearance on Chronicle.


Helen said...

Here is the apple galette recipe and video:

Papillon said...


I loved the pie dough recipe which I used for making the apple galette. I let the dough warm up up to roll out, it cracked , what did I do wrong?

Helen said...

Here is the video on how to roll correctly: Assuming you are already following these instructions and still getting cracking, it's probably because you left your butter pieces too big. For this dough, you process the butter and flour completely (unlike most other pie dough recipes). A little cracking around the edges is normal. Cracking in the middle of the dough is not.

Anonymous said...

as much as I love Stella Parks recipe, I still go back to this one. it seems a little bit less picky as to which brand of all purpose flour to use. First time I made Stellas it turned out perfect. Second time was a bit of a disaster. I’ve never had any issues with this one in all the years, so I’m sticking with it! Thank you again,