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Foolproof Pie Crust

I’ve talked before about how my husband and I just love watching cooking shows. What’s better than public access cooking shows? America’s Test Kitchen is on PBS and although at times the host drives me nuts, I love to watch it. It’s the test kitchen for Cook’s Illustrated magazine. (If you’ve never picked up a copy I strongly suggest you do. You won’t regret it!) This summer I watched an episode on pies. They shared their Foolproof Pie Crust and I knew I had to give it a shot at Thanksgiving. I’ve tried a few different recipes for pie crusts over the years, and while none of them have been horrible, it wasn’t until this year I got “WOW this crust is amazing.” Jackpot.

Foolproof Pie Crust


America’s Test Kitchen


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons, cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into four pieces (you can find organic shortening)
  • 1/4 cup vodka, cold (this is the KEY ingredient cannot substitute, it imparts no flavor)
  • 1/4 cup cold water


In a food processor, process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar until combined, about 2 one second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until the dough starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around the blade. Add one more cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and mass of dough has been broken up. Empty mixture into a bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until the dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide two into two equal portions, flatten into about a 4 inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. When ready to use simply roll out the disk and prepare crust as outlined in your favorite pie recipes!

Freezing Directions:

Prepare as directed above. Wrap in plastic wrap then store in freezer bag and freeze until ready to serve. TO SERVE: Thaw in refrigerator. When ready to use simply roll out the disk and prepare crust as outlined in your favorite pie recipes!

Servings: Yields one 9 inch double pie crust (one top and bottom crust)

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9 Responses to “Foolproof Pie Crust”

  1. Liberty says:

    looking forward to trying this *infused* crust! Smile!

  2. Michelle Diaz says:

    I found this recipe under the ‘Whole Foods’ link, but was surprised to see all purpose flower in the ingredients. Do you think it would still be good if I used white whole wheat flower? Also, I don’t think sugar is considered a ‘whole food’. Any substitute suggestions for that?

  3. Tekagirl says:

    I use this recipe too, and it is indeed fabulous! I’ve never had too much luck with pie crust, but this one is easy to roll out & get into the pie pan & bakes nicely. Yum!

  4. [...] batch Foolproof Pie Crust (save the other half for another [...]

  5. Amanda says:


    Can you share the exact measurements of the wheat flour and sucanat?

    Thank you,


    • Lisa says:

      Amanda – you can simply sub the all purpose flour for whole wheat white flour and the sugar for sucanat.

  6. Bridget Mathwin says:

    Can I switch out gluten free flour for the white?? I’m trying to rid gluten from my daughter’s diet to see if it will help her. Thanks.

    • Lisa says:

      I have never experimented with a gluten free flour. Please, let us know if this works for you so that we could add to our recipe! Thanks!

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