Back in 2008, Good Eats showed a recipe for pie crust which included distilled alcohol. In 2009, America's Test Kitchen showed a recipe for blueberry pie which also used alcohol in the crust. In both cases, the program explained that alcohol made the pie dough easier to work without encouraging gluten formation the way that water would.

Does anyone know where the idea of using alcohol in pie crust really came from? Was this a well-known trick, or did one of these programs invent the idea?


1 Answer 1


In November 2007 a recipe was published in Cooks Illustrated for a Foolproof Pie dough with vodka. That recipe was created by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt who was one of the chefs on America's Test Kitchen and writer for Cooks Illustrated. He has an article about the recipe here http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-the-science-of-pie-how-to-make-pie-crust-easy-recipe.html?ref=sweets-sb3. As far as I know this was not a well-known trick and Lopez-Alt came up with it originally.

  • Hmmm... If the Cook's Illustrated article came out in Nov 2007, that doesn't leave much time for the technique to be incorporated into Good Eats' "American Classics II: Apple of My Pie", which aired in Feb 2008; especially given how long TV production takes.
    – KatieK
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 21:20
  • 2
    @Katie: The article and the testing would themselves have needed to be done well before the magazine came out.
    – jscs
    Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 21:57
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    I am inordinately happy about the idea of Kenji and Alton swapping baking tips.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Jul 10, 2012 at 17:45

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