This is my adaptation of Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen’s “foolproof pie dough” crust originally published in Cook’s Illustrated’s November 2007 issue. While I have their print compilation of all the 2007 recipes, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt posted it as well on Serious Eats. My version of this vodka pie crust is slightly different in that I prefer to use lard instead of vegetable shortening. It imparts a better texture, flavor, and has no trans fats. In the video, I happen to be out of both and I use some schmaltz (chicken fat) instead. This is one of the recipes we tested as part of our YouTube video series investigating 3 different ways of making pie crust….
This is Bon Appetit’s pie crust, in fact, their “Flakiest Pie Crust”, one of the recipes we tested as part of our YouTube video series investigating 3 different ways of making pie crust. It is super simple – only a handful of ingredients and a bowl, bench scraper, and a rolling pin. You can make this easily at home….
To love good food is not only to make good food but to seek it out, to spend your days in a constant state of culinary exploration is to truly love good food. That is truly what we are all about at Explorers Kitchen, culinary exploration not solely in our own kitchen but everywhere we go. Our travels are usually centered around where we want to go, and where the best food is. Which is why when we stumbled upon a beautiful French Patisserie and boulangerie nestled in the idyllic Long Island city of Bayside, our culinary curiosity was peaked. The French Workshop, located on Bell Boulevard was very much worth the exploration. Being fans of all things sweet, all things beautiful and all foods French we knew we had discovered something quite unique.
From the very moment you enter the modern French establishment you feel as if you’ve left the snow covered streets of bayside and entered into a small Parisian Paradise. The captivating smell of freshly baked breads and macaroons fills the air and slowly all of your senses become enraptured by the visual and delectable treasures waiting for you behind marble counters and glass cases.
Beautifully prepared desserts and pastries sit delicately behind panes of crystal clear glass, which mirrors the open design of the prep kitchen behind the sales counter. Large glass windows show every pâtisser and employee working diligently to create these marvelous treats. From one woman filling freshly baked cream puffs to a flour covered man pulling large round loaves of bread from one of the many ovens the whole place was still bustling even in the early hours of the afternoon. Freshly ground coffee and a selection of bistro seating made it feel comfortable, cozy and cosmopolitan all at the same time, knowing that we must sample or else regret it forever we waited for a few short minutes before placing our order. Claiming one of the last Crumbled Apple Pies and a delicious looking chocolate chip cookie.
We eagerly waited one of the very friendly staff to wrap our treats up in beautiful ecru boxes and slide them into a silver rope handled bag before we took one more longing look around the place and departed.
Knowing the pie is something best enjoyed with family we waited to partake in it until arriving back home but the cookie could not wait. Before we even made it the twenty feet from the front door to our car I was already breaking off my first piece and swooning over the deliciousness which came with each bite. A thick and heavy butter dough baked to perfection with a crisp golden brown edge, a soft chewy middle with freshly melted chocolate made it honestly one of , if not the best cookie I have ever eaten. Hours later when we did eat out slices of the Crumbled Apple Pie it was honestly beyond delicious. The soft brown sugar crumble topping delicately dusted with powdered sugar blended perfectly into the tart apples which occupied the sweet syrupy filling all places on a flaky yet thick pie crust, Made even more delicious when paired with a small dollop of whipped creme.
This unique and exquisite shop is the perfect stop for any who plan on visiting the region in the near future, especially those whom appreciate the art and mastery that comes with the development of such a wonderful patisserie. The feel is that of a genuine Parisian establishment and the passion for quality is on display in every aspect of the shop, far from other more commercialized and overwhelming shops in the area. The calming, respectful and helpful staff welcome you and ensure you leave with a dessert which you will never forget. It is worth every moment of the drive, every cent of the cost and the sheer beauty of the place makes it a must see on my list.