The Best All-Butter Pie Dough

This all-butter pie dough is extra flaky and tender, thanks to the chilled vodka and our easy folding technique. Stacking the pieces of dough repeatedly takes minor extra effort, and the result is a puff pastry-like texture that is definitely worth it. You'll want to make this dough for every pie -- all year round.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: dough for two 9-inch pies or one double-crust pie
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and process until the largest pieces of butter are pea-size. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Combine the vodka, vinegar and 4 tablespoons of the ice water in a small bowl. Drizzle the wet ingredients over the dough, then mix with a fork until shaggy pieces form. Knead the dough in the bowl with your hands a couple of times until it comes together (it will look quite dry, which is fine). Transfer the large clumps of dough to a work surface. Drizzle 1 tablespoon ice water over any remaining smaller bits of dough in the bowl and knead again to bring it together. If the remaining dough is still too dry to come together, add more ice water in 1-tablespoon increments. Add to the dough on the work surface and press together into a single mass, incorporating any dry bits. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick block.  
  3. Divide the block into 4 pieces with a bench scraper or knife. Stack the pieces on top of one another, tucking any unincorporated dry bits in between the layers. Flatten the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick block. Repeat this process (cutting, stacking and flattening) 3 more times; this creates layers of butter in the dough that produce a wonderfully flaky crust. 
  4. Divide the dough in half and form into 1-inch-thick discs; wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and preferably overnight. The dough can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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