Butter and vodka are the secret ingredients to a pie crust that is flaky, tender, and great tasting! With this easy-to-make Butter and Vodka Pie Crust, you will have better-than-bakery pies every time!
Why You Will Love This Pie Crust
- Tender and flaky pie crust - Little pockets of butter are wrapped in flour, creating layers of dough that are flaky and tender.
- Works for sweet or savory pies - Whether you are making a Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pie or a savory pot pie or quiche, this is the pie crust that you can rely on to be perfect every time.
- No soggy bottom crust - When your pie crust has too much liquid in it the crust can end up soggy. Vodka evaporates faster than water which means you will never have a soggy crust!
- Makes a great topping - It's not just for pies! This crust makes an incredibly flavorful cobbler topping too! Try it with this Peach Pie Cobbler recipe!
Flour - All-purpose flour is best for pie crust. When measuring your flour it is important to either weigh it with a scale or measure by spooning the flour lightly into a measuring cup. Never scoop the flour from the bag with your measuring cup or you will end up with too much flour.
Butter - Some pie dough recipes call for vegetable shortening, which they say is important for a flaky crust. But using only butter has a better flavor, so instead of relying on shortening for flakiness, we utilize technique. The steps for this pie dough result in super flaky, flavorful, all-butter pie crust.
Water - All of your ingredients, including the water, should be cold For best results, add ice cubes to a cup of water while you prepare the flour and butter, then measure out ¼ cup of the chilled water right before adding it to the dough.
Vodka - This is the secret ingredient that adds hydration to the dough without activating the gluten formation. The result is tender, never tough, pie crust.
- Pulse half of the flour with the salt and sugar in a food processor.
- Add the butter and pulse 15 times to turn it into cottage cheese looking crumbs.
- Add the remaining flour and pulse the food processor again about 5-6 times, until the flour is mixed in. Adding the flour in 2 stages helps reduce the gluten formation and avoid overworking the dough.
4) Transfer the to bowl and sprinkle chilled vodka and ice-cold water over the flour mixture.
5) Press the liquid into the dough.
The dough will be shaggy. Smash the dough, scoop under the dough and fold it over the top, and smash it some more, until it looks like the photo below on the right.
6. Divide the dough into 2 portions and shape each into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Tips for Rolling the Dough
- Roll the dough on a well-floured surface. I like to flour parchment paper, roll it on the paper, and then use that paper to transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan.
- Sprinkle the top of the dough disk with flour as well. You can also add a sheet of parchment to the top of your dough, rolling the dough out between the two sheets, to avoid the dough sticking to your roller.
- Roll it ⅛-inch thick. This should be about 12-inches in diameter.
- Transfer the dough to your plate and fold the excess under to create your crust edge.
- Trim off any excess dough then crimp the edges using your favorite style.
- You can also cut the dough into strips for a lattice crust, like in my Cherry Rhubarb Pie recipe.
How to Par-Bake Your Crust
Par-baking is also called blind-baking. It is the process of partially baking a pie crust. I almost always par-bake my crust. I just love the results!
- Prick holes in the bottoms and sides of your pie crust.
- Cut out a parchment paper circle and gently press it on top of the dough.
- Fill the parchment-lined crust with pie weights or dry beans.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then remove the pie from the oven and remove the parchment and pie weights. (I pinch the edges of the parchment together to make a little cup, then remove the pie weights to a bowl. Be careful as they will be hot!
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the bottom crust looks dry and baked, but not yet browning.
- To fully cook your crust, bake for 10-15 minutes once the pie weights are removed.
- Keep your ingredients cold. This is the most important step in creating the best pie crust! From the moment you mix your flour to the time you put the pie into the oven, you need to have one question: Are my ingredients cold? Some people even put their bowl and flour into the freezer!
- Freeze the dough - Along the lines of keeping your ingredients cold, put your pie crust into the freezer for 10 minutes after you have prepared it in the pie plate. This will help keep the sides from slipping as the butter won't melt until the flour has started to bake. If you don't have room in your freezer then you can place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes instead.
- Do not overwork the dough. Handle the dough as little as possible. This starts with step 1 where the salt and sugar and mixed with the flour. Use the pulse feature on your food processor rather than mixing at full power, so that you have control over exactly how much is mixed. The more you work the dough the more gluten is formed, which is the number one reason for a pie failure.
Yes, the disks of pie dough can be frozen for up to 5 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking. You can also store fresh pie dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If the butter gets too warm too fast the dough will contract, causing your pie crust to shrink. To reduce this, be sure to freeze or refrigerate your dough before putting it in the oven. Also, pressing the dough firmly against the edge of the pie plate will make a seal that will help reduce shrinking.
If you would like to use shortening in your pie crust then I recommend using ¼ cup of shortening and 12 tablespoons of butter.
I love to make pie crust with a food processor because it is the easiest way to prepare the dough without overworking it. However, you can also use a pastry cutter if you do not have a food processor.
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind-the-scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Butter Vodka Pie CrustRecipe by:
- 2 ½ cups flour (325 grams)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons)
- ¼ cup ice water
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- Place half of the flour in a food processor, along with the salt and granulated sugar. Pulse a couple of times to mix.
- Add the cold butter slices and pulse about 15 times, until small chunks form. Scrape down the sides, then add the remaining flour. Pulse 5-6 times.
- Transfer the dough to a medium bowl. Drizzle the water and the vodka across the surface of the dough, then use a rubber spatula to fold and press the liquids into butter and flour. The dough will be shaggy. Press the crumbs into the dough. If they stick together then you do not need additional liquid.
- Split the dough into two balls and flatten each into a round disk. Wrap each disk individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator set the disk on a well-floured surface. Use a rolling pin to create a circle of dough that is ⅛-inch thick. Use additional flour, if needed, to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin.
- Transfer the dough to your pie plate and fold the excess dough under to create a rim around the edge of the pie plate. Crimp using your preferred style. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
- For baking, follow your pie recipe instructions or see the notes section for additional information.
- It is normal for the dough to have crumbs. Use the plastic wrap to press the crumbs into the dough while forming the disk.
- If you press the crumbs into the dough and they stick then no additional water is needed.
- The dough will continue to hydrate in the refrigerator, as the butter is absorbed into the flour.
- Do not skip the step of freezing the pie for 10 minutes. This re-chilling is necessary for the butter to solidify after rolling.
- I use 4 packages of pie weights so that the pie plate is almost completely full. This helps prevent the dough from sliding.
I love how you crimp your pie crust, would it be possible to show how you do iit
Hi Kim! Thank you so much! It's a really easy process where I pinch with two fingers on one hand and push in with one finger on the other hand. I will make a video and will email you when it's posted.
So much better than storebought! I am usually the person who eats the filling out of my pie slice and tosses the crust. This crust is too good to toss. So flakey and flavorful, and all the tips in the blog post are super helpful for a non-baker like myself. Thanks, Erin!
It thrills me to know that you enjoyed this pie crust so much! Thank you, Amanda, for taking the time to share!
Made as written. Yum. Certainly the best recipe I’ve ever tried. This Will be the only recipe I ever make. I’m in my seventies and gave up making home made crusts decades ago. Mine we’re not as good as store bought. Now my home made pies will be really home made. Thank you for sharing such a precise recipe.
I love to hear that and am so glad that you can now enjoy making 100% homemade pies!
I’m kind of confused… I’ve made this recipe twice and after adding both the vodka and water it is still sooooo dry. I’ve had to double the amount of liquid. I’ve made sure to weigh my flour and have followed the process exactly. Any ideas why this could be?
Hi Julia! I am so sorry that you have experienced challenges! The most common culprit for dry dough is using too much flour, but if you weighed the flour then here are some other possible causes. 1) Not enough butter. You can weigh your butter too (226 grams). And make sure it is processed to tiny crumbs. After processing does it look like the first photo under the instructions in the post? Or is it drier? 2) Different types of flour absorb water differently, so make sure to use all-purpose flour. 3) If you live at high altitudes or in a dry climate that may impact the amount of water needed.
I had the same problem. Very dry dough so I had to almost double the amount of liquid. My measurements were exactly as written. I live in a wet climate at 200 feet and used all purpose flour. I'm not sure why it was so dry.
Hi Jill! The dough will be pretty crumbly initially. It doesn't come together just by mixing. You do need to press the dough to form it. I added some additional notes in the recipe card to help you determine whether or not additional liquid is needed. You can also take a look at this video and you can see the texture. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/NbFH4yYHjhg
what can i use instead of vodka
You can use additional water in place of the vodka. Start with 1 additional tablespoon of water (so 5 tablespoons total) and add an additional tablespoon at a time (up to 8 tablespoons/a half cup total) until the dough starts to come together.
Julie Lynn Whitney
Did I miss the amount of vodka? How much do you use?
Yep! It's the last ingredient listed in the recipe card. 1/4 cup. 😀
This is the best pie crust recipe I have ever found it's a 15 out of 10
What a compliment! So glad that you love this crust, Shawn!