I’m not giving up on the pie crust thing, not going to let a little lard and flour conquer me. So I put enough pressure on myself not to fail again. I’m going to a potluck concert tonight and I’m bringing apple pie. This morning I went to the farmers market and found my favorite pie apples, apples that are only available here for a couple of weeks in the fall—Stayman Winesaps. Apple pie is about the only thing I can bring tonight. There is no other food in my house unless I decide to invent something with Cream of Wheat. (Actually, I was considering the options. Do you think Cream of Wheat could adapt to a savory dish? Kind of like a polenta thing? I could make curried Cream of Wheat with almonds and dried cranberries. What if I told them it was an Afghani dish from the tribal regions . . . probably not.)
Recently I became intrigued with a supposedly foolproof pie crust recipe that gave me reason for hope. The secret ingredient? Vodka. Here’s the thing—you have to beware of eating the raw crust dough. You know how there are all those little scraps and things that fly out of the food processor and you know they are unsanitary so you eat them raw to keep the kitchen clean? They have vodka in them. So in the middle of a lovely Saturday afternoon, I’m in the kitchen baking apple pie but I’m like a soused June Cleaver.
A number of foodie bloggers have written about this pie crust, originally from Cooks Illustrated. (Here’s the post from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite bloggers http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/pie-crust-101.)I made it in one big flop-over crust à la Martha Stewart and used Martha’s filling recipe for Bottom Crust Apple Pie.
The dough worked beautifully. It just came out of the oven. It smells incredible and it looks pretty darned good. Tonight we'll see how it tastes. Maybe vodka was the secret all along.