(The piecrust is made by substituting vodka for much of the water, which allows the dough to be rolled out without encouraging too much gluten formation and thereby making the crust tough. It is perhaps a shade too much on the crumbly side but makes up for that by being outstandingly tasty, it has now utterly spoiled my taste for the majority of store-bought pies, and it has convinced my friends that I, in turn, am some sort of culinary god, even though this piecrust recipe is idiotically simple, actually simpler than regular piecrust, if such a thing is possible. The lesson here is: Subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and make your loved ones' lives better.)
And now I have also found the pizza section of the Serious Eats website. I am doomed to never work again.
I guess yours would be:
* Knows lots of technical details about security and cryptosystems.
* Voice of reason to balance out the usual internet opinion of "the sky is falling and its Microsoft's/Google's/Apple's/the government's fault".
* Likes cooking, especially whole pigs and sous vide, although not necessarily together.
* Friends with Patrick.
I hadn't noticed mechanical_fish's name before, but I will now remember him as the guy who makes pie crusts with vodka.
* Eternal foil for cpercival on the advisability of designing encryption systems
I think I've learned more during their dialogues about cryptology than I have from years of reading Bruce Schneier's blog.
I tend to just leave out a bit of the liquid.
Although someone else in the comments suggests resting the dough for longer instead, perhaps even overnight. That might help soak up the full 1/4 cup. I tend to make this stuff in too much of a hurry, so my pie dough doesn't rest all that long.
A year or so after this recipe came out Alton Brown did his piecrust episode. I tuned in wondering (a) if the guy had done his homework; (b) if he could top the vodka thing for theatrical excitement. And Alton passed both tests by making apple pie with apple jack in the crust instead of vodka. Now that's theater.
I'm curious whether it's the presence of alcohol that inhibits gluten formation, or whether it's simply the fact that 1/2 the moisture isn't coming from water.
 Hopefully, so I can stuff ginger-sage sausage, pork confit, and rice into it for dinner.
Alton Brown's show went further, pointing out that alcohol doesn't just evaporate quickly, it also doesn't form gluten while it's around. I don't quite remember whether he also claimed that the alcohol actually inhibits the gluten-forming action of the rest of the water.
Clearly more data is needed. Or perhaps some primary-source citations, but they don't taste as good.
As for the soup phenomenon: It could well be a temperature thing, and I will put my vodka in the freezer next time and see how that goes. But it could also be a flour thing, I suppose. Every flour has a different protein content, every region has its favorite mix of flours (in the south, for example, you can actually buy the flour that makes Southern biscuits famously soft and tender), so unless we set out to use the same weight of the same flour we're going to tend to see different results. (My flour is King Arthur unbleached all-purpose, by the way. I'm not sure of the extent to which King Arthur is a national brand.)
By the way: if you keep vodka in your house, it should always be in the freezer.
My wife has also had spectacular success with the Vodka pie crust, and just loves telling people about how it works.
There is also a similar myth for McDonald's french fries. It would be nice to see those tested as well.
Sorry, folks. French fries rot if you just seal the container they are in, whether made at home or McD's. http://sparkasynapse.blogspot.com
Why not confirm it yourself? He posted his method, and it's probably not outside your realm of competence.
That's one of the best things about science: anyone can do it!
Anyway, fries aren't just oil. They're carbohydrates and proteins too. Fats take time but eventually you'll see fungi grow on butter.
To the person above, thanks for linking to my experiment. :)
Just because results are a forgone conclusion doesn't mean that it's not worth testing them. Just because you think that your hypothesis is very strong does not mean that you can skip testing it.
A week later, it was still untouched. Even the goddamn crows wouldn't eat it.
That's when I realized that the critics were pretty much right about McDonald's. Whatever those guys are selling, be it harmful or benign, it doesn't qualify as "food."