Monday, October 04, 2010

New Recipe

We watch cooking shows at our house. Recently, on PBS, we caught one in which there was a recipe for a blueberry pie put forth. Folks who do America's Test Kitchen, new one called Cook's Country. We didn't have any blueberries on hand, but we did have cherries, which I like more anyhow, so we gave it a try.

Pretty much  it was just like the normal recipe for such things, with two exceptions: The filling had added to it a grated apple, whose pectin allowed it to set up better.

And the dough had half the water replaced with vodka. 

Yep, vodka. 

The notion here was that this would allow the dough to stay wet enough to be rolled out without cracking and having to be overworked, but that the alcohol in the vodka would evaporate during cooking, leaving no hint of it behind, and making for a more tender and flaky crust. 

Overworking one's pie dough makes it tough, as I am sure all you pie makers know.

The image is of the last piece, and given that we made it yesterday, that should tell you that it worked pretty well. 


Bobbe Edmonds said...

Did the vodka not offset the taste of the crust at all?

Steve Perry said...

No taste to Vodka anyway, but, no, we didn't notice it at all.

Dan Gambiera said...

I was a little skeptical when I first read about it in Cooks Illustrated a couple years back. It works. I guess vodka doesn't promote the creation of gluten strands the way water does. There's no vodka taste. The crust is a moister than usual but ends up very flaky.

Edwin Voskamp said...

The same trick is also used in making pasta. I've had absolutely stunning ditalini pasta from pasta dough made with vodka.

Steve Perry said...

We wondered if it would work on pasta. It would seem that it would, but different cooks have different opinions. On the pie show, the woman offered that you should do an egg wash on the top crust. On the show immediately following, a chef making pasta allowed that some people put an egg wash on their ravioli, and he said you shouldn't do that, it would make the dough tough.

I can't see why you'd put an egg wash on ravioli, since you are gonna boil it, but what do I know?

J.D. Ray said...

Just read the post aloud to Jen. She (who is gluten-intolerant) wants to try this trick to see if it works with gluten-free flour, which is notoriously hard to work with, to come up with a viable gluten-free pie crust. I hope it works out, because I miss her fresh-baked pies.