Apple pie with vodka crust

My wife and I always struggle with pie crust. It generally turns out too short and is more likely to end up thrown at the wall than on the top of a pie. We’re always on the lookout for another secret crust recipe…we’ve even tried 7up.

The secret to this recipe is vodka. The alcohol burns off leaving the most flakey, light crust you’ve ever tasted. You’ll never go back to a normal pie crust. Never. I can’t wait to try it with lots of other fillings.

It seems this recipe has made the rounds… I found it on Smitten Kitchen through Honeyed Hashette. It’s originally from Cooks Illustrated, November 2007.

Preparation time
1 hour
Cooking time
45 mins


  • Apple Pie Filling:
  • 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2″ wedges
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Corn Starch dissolved in 1 tsp. water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg (I didn’t use it.)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Fool Proof Pie Dough:
  • (Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie)
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • ½ cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small bits
  • ¼ cup cold vodka
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 egg slightly beaten



1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. (I mixed it by hand and it turned out fine.) Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350.
Roll out one disk of dough and place it into 9″ pie pan.
Press firmly around edges to adhere to pan.
Fill pan with apple mixture arranging apples however you please.
Roll out second disk of dough.
Place over apples.
Seal and flute edges.
Trim off remaining dough.
Pierce vents.
Brush top crust with egg.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cover with foil and bake for additional 20 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


There are 5 Comments

  1. So glad you loved the pie crust. I too will never try another pie crust recipe again. I am in love.

    Did you like the apple pie filling? My father in law has claimed this the best apple pie he has ever tasted. I recently won a bake-off with this apple pie.

  2. I can see why! The whole thing was delicious. Your recipe is very similar to the one my grandma makes…hence why I took out the nutmeg :)

  3. I have ben using a crust recipe from Simply Recipes. Its very good but I think I will give this one a try too. Thanks!

  4. Hi,

    looks great! I am going to try it immediatly, but can i learn a cup equals to how much gr? thanks!

  5. This pie crust is excellent except for the shortening. I didn’t want to use the transfats so I used all butter;). I guess I’ll see how it works.

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