You might be intrigued by the appearance of vodka in the ingredients for this pie dough recipe. When water and flour are mixed it activates the gluten, and gluten makes for a tough dough. By contrast, vodka has very little water content, which stops this from happening.
The method will also seem a little unusual, but the two-stage addition of butter helps to balance a tender dough with a flaky result. By rolling up the dough, you add even more flakiness. It’s a method I have borrowed after watching the custard tart bakers of Lisbon at work.
This recipe only makes the pie dough, look out for Edd Kimber’s pie recipes coming up…
- plain flour 300g, plus extra for dusting
- caster sugar 2 tbsp
- unsalted butter 250g, diced into 1cm pieces and chilled
- vodka 2 tbsp
The ideal pie tin is a classic shallow 9in/23cm sloped-sided metal tin. The thin metal conducts the heat well and helps the bottom of the pastry crisp up. We’ve used vintage ones in this feature (look for them in secondhand shops) or you can buy good new ones from bakerybits.co.uk.