World’s Best Pie Crust (and Bonus Peach Cobbler Recipe, woo hoo!)

What is this? How can someone make such brazen culinary claims? The audacity!

No, really. This recipe solves a few problems that stand between you and pastry goodness, such as:

  1. Water + flour = gluten (tough crust)
  2. six ingredients, real foods
  3. really fast, easy, little work, less mess!

Food Chemistry Lesson!
When you mix flour with water, you create gluten strands. You want bread to develop a lot of gluten, bread gets a lot of kneading. Gluten makes great bread, but tough biscuits and pie crusts. Pastry dough should be moved around as little as possible.

Trader Joe's, cheap and good!
Trader Joe’s, cheap and good!

This recipe hinges on using your food processor, really cold butter, and one secret ingredient: vodka.

World’s Best Pie Crust Recipe (adapted from Alton Brown)
(for single crust)

Ingredients ready...
Ingredients ready…

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick very cold butter (8 tablespoons)
1/4 cup vodka and ice water mix
(A couple of green olives, optional)

-Into your food processor bowl add the flour, sugar and salt and give them a couple hits of the mix button.
-In a graduated measuring cup, pour in 1/4 cup of water, add another 1/4 cup of vodka (now you have 1/2 cup of liquid), then add ice cubes to top it off up to the 3/4 cup line; none for the baker, yet… you have to wait a couple more minute.

Dough looks done!
Dough looks done!

-Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture, pulse in the processor until the chunks of butter are rice or pea sized.

-Now you are ready to add only 1/4 cup worth of your water/vodka/ice… be honest, your cocktail. Pulse the processor blade only enough times to bring together the flour mix and liquid mix, this is where you really want to avoid overmixing. I think my dough came together in less than 10 pulses.

IMG_7203-Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour or more. Roll out as you need!

Now you can drink the remaining1/2 cup vodka/water/ice mix cocktail! This is where the optional olives come in. Be ready for a lot of great/obnoxious comments from your family

Peach Cobbler

IMG_72086-8 peaches, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon tapioca (the small, dry, dessert pudding size of tapioca)
1 recipe of the above pie crust rolled out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
optional cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top of crust (about 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, mixed)

-In a bowl, mix peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and tapioca together.

-Butter a 9″ by 9″ glass pan (my favorite) and add peach mixture.

Extra dough on tray makes crusty cookies!
Extra dough on tray makes crusty cookies!

-Roll out dough, handling it as little as possible so it will not be tough, and slice or tear the dough into palm sized pieces to lay atop the peaches. No need to be fancy trying for a perfect 9″x 9″ crust, handle the dough as little as possible and your cobbler’s crust will be tender and flaky! Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mix on top of the crust for a nice finish, if you like. That is what I do.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lover temperature to 350 for another 30 minutes. Let the cobbler cool for ten minutes, top with ice cream if that’s what floats your boat, and enjoy!

Half gone before we got a photo. Delicious!
Half gone before we got a photo. Delicious!

Throwback Cocktail- The Gimlet

You can roll your eyes at me, it’s OK. Go ahead. I am that person who goes to a Steak House and orders the soup and salad special. I’ll go to the beach and read a book. Tonight we went to a brewery and I ordered a Gimlet. 

Since I wanted to skip the beer and try a different drink tonight, one of our friends suggested trying the Gimlet. Someone mentioned that it was like a line version of a lemon drop.

That was all the encouragement I needed.  

According to the Gimlet was created by sailors to help prevent scurvy. Sometimes vodka is used, but a traditional Gimlet is made with gin. Served either on the rocks or straight up, 2.5 ounces of vodka, .5 ounce simple syrup and .5 ounce of fresh lime juice are shaken with ice and served in an old fashioned glass. I’m pretty sure mine tonight had soda water in it, too, and I liked it. I’m guessing it was equal parts soda and gin, and I really enjoyed the lime. 

Why have I taken so long to try new things like this?

Mmmmmm… Lemon Drop Cocktail

Yea! Talked The Husband into picking a couple of lemons off of my little Meyer lemon bush… it was after dark, and that is when the black widow spiders come out. Ick.

It was worth his trouble, since I let him make cocktails for us. I’m nice like that.

Lemon Drop Cocktail-

Per drink you will need:
1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1/4 oz Cointreau

optional- lemon flavored sugar to put on the rim of the glass

Anchor Hocking 5 oz. Measuring Glass (Amazon has them, click the photo to go to Amazon)
Anchor Hocking 5 oz. Measuring Glass (Amazon has them, click the photo to go to Amazon)

And as far as kitchen tools are concerned, this little bugger (pictured left) is great. For this drink tonight, we wanted to measure out these fussy, small amounts correctly to decide if we really liked this recipe. We use it whenever we need to take the pains to accurately measure small amounts of liquids. Like tonight.

Small, easy to clean and inexpensive and store citrus juicer.
Small, easy to clean and inexpensive and store citrus juicer.

I’d also recommend a small, easy to clean and store citrus juicer, like the one pictured on the right. Unless you have all the space in your kitchen for cute, green for limes, larger yellow for lemons and largest for oranges citrus squeezers, go right ahead. I don’t. (Click that link to see…)

This was really tasty, by the way! The Husband recommends having well chilled vodka for this, or shaking the concoction with ice before pouring into your glass.