Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Vodka in Pie Crust? Now I'm happy Again

I learned something today. When Mr. Aimai gets anxious, he likes to draw up budgets. When I get anxious, I start to cook. So when he gets anxious, our food bills go up. This is not a virtuous circle. On the other hand, while perusing the wonderful food blog "A Finger In Every Pie" I came across this fantastic recipe for no fail pie crust--yes, yes, this time its going to work perfectly--and since I'm making dinner for twenty people on thursday night and was thinking about making a rhubarb/cardamom pie to go with the flourless chocolate torte with raspberries I am in need of a little faith based cooking help. I love a good theory almost more than I love an actual practical food event so what really attracts me to this is that the recipe uses chilled vodka which evaporates out. The linked site describes the issue as one of evaporating out and not leaving the pie crust soggy but I think what is at work is something a bit different. I presume that when the vodka evaporates off the gas forces the layers of the crust apart making it more flakey. I read somewhere years ago that salted butter holds more water than unsalted and thus is a good choice for pie crusts because that little bit of extra water, bound with the fat, evaporates into steam and creates the layers. I have absolutely no idea. But I love the theory. So I'm off to hunt up a bottle of vodka--we aren't drinkers and I think we had one for about three years after a parental party and I finally must have poured it down the drain--and I'll let y'all know how it works.