Last night when we were cutting into a the chocolate pudding pie I made, my roommate admitted he is solidly "Team Pie." Now I had always considered myself very much "Team Cake" but... I said, in complete seriousness, "Pie is a more satisfying creative outlet for me at this point in my life." (aren't you glad I'm not saying that about, oh, liquor? heroin?) It's cheesy but true. Conquering pie crust and the limitless number of possible fillings is starting to look like a mildly consuming spring semester project that nobody will complain about supporting, ever.
Last night I made The Pioneer Woman's Pie Crust and Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Pudding Pie. PW's pie crust has a lot going for it: shortening and white vinegar are MUCH cheaper than butter and vodka. The outcome was basically as good as she talked it up to be-- this is the flaky-ist crust I have ever made. It just kind of dissolves in your mouth with its amazing texture. For a pudding pie, that really works and honestly, I cannot stop eating this pie. Seriously, get on it! You need some homemade pudding in your life. But anyways, the crust. I was rushing it a bit and it still came out really flaky and amazing, so that's a win. It also comes out of the pan with zero fight. I have no recollection of ever having that experience with a crust I've made.
The problem with the vinegar/shortening pie crust recipe is that it has very little flavor. For a fruit pie, I think I would definitely like something more buttery. I think I may have to bite the bullet and make an all-butter crust in spite of the love I feel for the Cook's Illustrated vodka/shortening/butter version. I thought this would be an either/or contest, but now I'm feeling like different pie crust recipes might suit different moods and I'm ok with that.