This is modified from Cook’s Illustrated, who I adore for how scientifically they test and refine their recipes. They used shortening which I avoid at all costs. I found the vodka evaporation makes the flaky and tender crust even with all butter.
- 2 ½ Cups Flour
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 20 Tbsp. cold Butter (2 ½ sticks) cut into ¼ inch slices
- ¼ Cup cold Vodka
- ¼ Cup cold Water
- Process 1 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up. Empty mixture into a bowl.
- Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. (This is wetter than most dough; don’t worry! It turns out to be the flakiest, most delicious crust you’ve ever had.)
- Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days. Or freeze up to 1 month.
You can use an electric mixer instead of a food processor.