Last Call

Vodka Is NOT the Secret to the Perfect Pie Crust. We've Got a Way Better Recipe -- and White Russians, Too

Ring the bell, it's time for Last Call, where JK Grence, bartender at Shady's, serves up booze advice and recipes. Got a burning question for your bartender? Leave it in the comments and it might be answered in a future column.

The folks involved with Chow Bella are getting more than a little excited about our upcoming Pie Social. How excited? Even the booze column is giving pie tips.

See Also:
 - Want to Be An Official Pie Social Judge? Here's How.

Five years ago, the staff of Cook's Illustrated magazine started a baking revolution when they developed a new pie crust recipe. The number one enemy of pie crust bakers is gluten. If you overwork the dough, you develop too much gluten and end up with a tough crust. Someone at Cook's Illustrated realized that if you replace some of the water with vodka, less gluten develops, making it a piece of cake easy as pie to create the tenderest, flakiest crust you've ever had.

There is one problem with this technique. The problem is that the alcohol burns off in the oven. I'd rather enjoy a drink with my pie, and I'm sure you would too.

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JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence