I love pies. Mom, I know what you’re thinking. Growing up I hated pie crust. I would only eat the fruit filling. I took great pride in creating a hollowed out pie carcass that my father would finish for me. He loved pies because they were not sweet. He took pride in only adding enough sugar to make it palatable.
I did’t start liking pies until I discovered crumb topping. Crumb topping is like crumbled cookie dough on top of a pie. It’s divine. I have a basic crumb topping I use for most pies and more. That’s why this recipe only makes the bottom crust. But you can double it for a top and a bottom.
I found a version of this recipe years ago and wouldn’t try it because I was a cheapskate. Vodka’s expensive and I never bought it. Now, everyone is publishing a pie crust with vodka. Years forward, I now drink vodka and it makes all the difference in the flakiness of the pie crust. Don’t skip it!
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter cut into chunks
1/4 cup chilled lard cut into chuncks
1/8 cup ice cold vodka
1/8 cup ice cold water, minus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl or food processor, mix the flour, salt, and sugar in food processor or by hand until combined. Add butter and lard and cut in or process until it resembles Grape-nuts cereal.
In a small bowl mix the vodka, water and vanilla. Add to the flour and butter. Stir until the dough starts to come together. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and flatten and shape into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
**Double recipe to make a top and bottom crust