My mood has turned to grey right along with the wintry weather, so it’s time to break out the hearty pie recipes.
Did you know that adding a little gin to your recipe when making a pie crust can make it flakier? This is due to the lower temperature at which the gin evaporates. Unlike water, alcohol does not contribute to the formation of gluten, the network of proteins that can cause a crust to turn leathery. The alcohol burns off quickly in the oven, drying out the crust. The unique taste can really elevate the flavour of savoury pies in particular.
Flaky Gin Pie Crust
- 2 ½cups all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon table salt
- 2tablespoons sugar
- 12tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into slices
- ½cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- ¼cup gin, cold
- ¼cup cold water
- Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor until combined. Add the butter and shortening and process until the dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps. Tip: The dough will resemble cottage-cheese curds, and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the processor blade. Add the remaining cup of flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and the mass of dough has been broken up. Empty the mixture into a medium bowl.
- Sprinkle gin and water over the mixture. With the rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide the dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 10cm disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Cheers and Bon appétit!