ASB Basics: Even Faster Pie Dough (Updated Method)
Whenever I make roll-out cookies, after I make the dough, instead of chilling it first, I roll it out right away when it's soft, and then chill it once it's rolled out thinly. This method is great because it skips the awkward phase of the traditional method when chilled disks of dough are too cold to be rolled out. Also, because the dough is thinly rolled onto parchment, it chills much faster for cutting out cookies. When I was making pie dough today, I thought I could apply the same principle, and it turned out better than I hoped. I still use the same ingredients for my ASB Basics: Pâte Brisée recipe, but this method of preparation comes together more quickly.
As I explain in the original recipe (linked above), the vodka in the recipe is a wonderful secret ingredient. It allows more liquid to be added to the dough, making easier to work with, without contributing to gluten development as water would. After the pie cooks for a long time at a high temperature, you don't taste the vodka and I've never seen someone get tipsy off of my pies :)
This dough recipe is enough for two single crust pies, one double crust (or lattice), or two galettes. The following instructions explain how to roll half of this recipe for a bottom crust using the time saving method. You can do this twice for two single crust pies, or save the other half for a top-crust, lattice, galette, or for any other thing you'd use pie dough. I make this in my stand mixer but you could use a food processor.
3 ¾ cups (485g) AP flour
1 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp sugar (omit for savory recipes)
3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter, frozen and cut into chunks
1/2 cup (118ml) water + 1/2 cup (118ml) vodka, in a glass with ice
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, salt, sugar, and butter.
On low speed, mix until the butter is in irregular but mostly small chunks around the size of peas.
With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the water–vodka mixture in (you will not need all of it) until the dough is just moist enough to hold together when pressed.
Divide the dough and half. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll out half the dough to about a 12" diameter circle. As you roll, periodically lift the paper off of the dough to make sure it is not sticking. If it starts to get really sticky (your kitchen may be warmer than mine) pop the dough into the freezer for 5 minutes before resuming. I like using wax paper but a well floured surface and rolling pin work fine.
Lift the top piece of wax paper from the rolled out dough, invert into a pie plate. Trim the edges and use the excess to create a smooth border that can be decoratively crimped. Crimp the edges as desired. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until needed (a minimum of 30 minutes, up to 2 weeks).
You can repeat with the other half of the dough to make a second single crust pie or shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze until you decide what to do with it. If you freeze the dough in the pie plate for more than an hour, let it thaw in the fridge for a few hours before using. This is mostly to make sure the glass doesn't crack in the hot oven.