Online Recipe Book

Pie Crust 1 (America's Test Kitchen)

One 9" double crust
Prep info
30 min prep
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
30 minutes
Time required
30 minutes
Oven preheat
Not tried


  • 354 g Flour (Plain)
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 170 g butter (cut into 1/4" slices and chilled)
  • 102 g shortening (cut into pieces and chilled)
  • 1/4 c vodka (cold)
  • 1/4 c water (cold)


Pulse 188g (1 1/2 cups) of the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses.


Add the butter and shortening, and process until a homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds. (The dough will resemble cottage cheese curds, and there should be no uncoated flour.)


Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the processor blade.  Add the remaining 125g (1 cup) flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and the mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.


Empty mixture into a medium bowl.  Sprinkle the vodka and water over the 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 the dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.




Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie; can be halved for single-crust.

The result of 148 crusts' worth of experimentation by Cook's Illustrated staffer J. Kenji Alt is included in the new The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2009.


J. Kenji Alt writes: "Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor — do not substitute. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to 1/4 cup)."