Metro Weekly

Savor Recipe: Damn Good Pie Dough

A game-changing recipe that uses lard and vodka to make it flaky, rich, and tender

This pie dough recipe is a game-changer. It uses butter and lard for extra flakiness, while cake flour ensures a tender crumb. Eggs add richness and vodka lets you get a little more liquid into the dough without building too much gluten, which can make dough tough. The recipe yields a top and bottom crust or two bottom portions.


  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup very cold lard (or solid vegetable shortening), diced
  • 1 cup very cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. cold vodka
  • 2 Tbsp. ice water


1. Add flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse until combined.

2. Add lard and butter. Pulse until the mixture looks like extra-coarse sand. Do not overmix. Add the vodka and water.

3. Add eggs and process the dough only as long as it takes to come together. Add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary.

4. Dump the dough onto a floured counter or dough mat. The dough will be slightly crumbly. If it seems too dry, sprinkle a little water on it 1 tsp. at a time.

5. Push the dough together gently and form it into a ball. Don’t overwork the dough.

6. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide dough into two pieces. Form the pieces into two balls and flatten into 3/4-inch thick disks.

7. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour to overnight. Allow to warm up (3-4 minutes) before using.

8. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. Keep your hands at the 9 and 3 positions and always roll from the center of the dough outward.

9. Add a little more flour and lift and turn the dough a quarter turn before each roll. Gently wrap the dough around your rolling pin and transfer to your pie plate.

Looking for a great way to use your dough? Check out Craig’s Classic Tarte Tatin recipe here

Questions? Text to Craig at 202-217-0996 or email

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