Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cousin Arlene's Vodka Pie Crust

My Cousin Arlene, A regular commentor on two of my three blogs has stated that she prefers homemade pie crusts over the store bought. I must say that I agree with her.. Both of my recipes for pies on this blog have suggested the use of the already made pie crust. (For the lazy,like myself and for people who are just starting to cook who don't know how to make a crust.)

I took Home Economics in High School...(I was bored with shop and wanted to try something different. )I learned to make a pie crust there and later when I was in the United States Air Force, I perfected it. Here is my cousin's recipe for a Pie Crust. It's quite unique in that it uses Vodka...(No joke!)


3 cups flour
1 tsp salt, kosher-not iodized
1 tbs sugar
1/3 cup Crisco, very cold
1 1/2 sticks butter, very cold
1/4 cup vodka (SmirnoffS), very cold
1/4 cup water, very cold but no ice chips


She states that she uses the food processor to mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Then you"Cut in" the butter and shortening by using 8 or 9 short pulses. Sprinkle the vodka and water over the flour/butter/crisco mixture and process about 5 or 6 pulses. You've got pie crust!!

Divide the dough in half and rest it at least 40 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll it out for the bottom crust and rest it for 20 minutes in the freezer. Use plenty of flour on the surface to roll out the dough. Add the filling and top with the reamining rolled out dough. This crust makes any filling taste great!


Anonymous said...

Dessert and alcohol...two of my favourite things lol.

Arlene said...

Thanks for the shout out Keith. This is the pie crust I use all the time for my pies except the Key Lime and Chess. Those need a sweeter, crunchier, crumblier crust. That's when I do the cookie crust.

With pie on the mind, do you or your readers have a recipe for Cherry Pie that tastes better than the ones made from those jarred cherries? The Amish at Reading Terminal Market sell a delicious Cherry Pie that I buy for $2.75 per slice. At that rate it would cost $22 for a whole eight slice pie (which I could eat in a couple of days.) I want to make my own but I know I'm not going spend the time it takes to pit cherries. There has to be some combination of ingredients to "doctor up" the filling. It's not just adding almond extract as I was once told. I tried that and it's not enough. Love you and thanks!

Sunflower said...

That sounds like a great recipe Keith!

Brenda said...

Hmm interesting, I've got to try that!

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household