You have to listen to me rant before you can have the pie crust recipe.
We get a number of foodie-type catalogs: Dean & Deluca, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, et al. The other day we got a new one called Cooking Enthusiast. I was flipping through it today when I saw the recipe wheel:
No longer do you have to scratch your head over simple fractions when you want to increase or decrease a recipe. Spin the wheel on this ingenious magnet and you can double, triple, half or third a recipe.
Just how hard is it to halve or double a recipe? I'll admit that thirding something might take a little more brain power, but who in their everloving mind thirds a recipe anyway?
And believe me, I'm no math whiz. I quit math after high school geometry and avoided the math requirement in college by taking science courses instead. (Don't ask me the logic of that, but I was damned if I was going to take remedial math in college, and that's what they wanted me to do.) But I can, um, figure out pretty easily that half of 1/2 cup is 1/4. I even know that a third of 1/2 cup is 1/6 cup.
This is a prime example of dumbing-down a process. But we're not stupid, we're lazy. On the other hand, if you don't use your muscles you lose them, and it's the same with brain cells. This is why I will never own a recipe wheel. This is why I still add, subtract, multiply, and divide on paper a lot of the time.
Okay. Rant over. The secret ingredient is VODKA, and the recipe is below the fold.
No substitutions, okay? If you don't drink alcohol, don't worry about the vodka. It evaporates in the oven. Eighty-proof vodka is 40% ethanol, and that's what prevents the formation of gluten, which makes a pie crust tough.
Also, before trying this recipe, I was a store-bought crust kind of gal. No longer.
This recipe is from the November/December 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine. I followed the recipe for the two-crust pie in the magazine itself, but you can find the recipe for a one-crust pie, free on the website.
I just read through it, and YES! The version in the magazine is DOUBLE the recipe on the site! I bet Cook's Illustrated didn't use the recipe wheel, and you won't need to either, if you make a two-crust pie.