Picture-perfect pie
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup cold shortening
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 cup cold vodka (or more ice water as needed)

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the flour, salt and sugar.

Add the butter and shortening and process until coarse crumbs form. With the motor running, drizzle in the ice water and vodka until the mixture just comes together. Do not overprocess.

Divide the dough into two even balls and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to two days; or freeze for two months.

-- Adapted from Cook's Illustrated magazine, November/ December 2007 issue.

Nutrition information:
313 calories (58% from fat), 20 grams fat (10 grams sat. fat), 26 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 235 mg sodium, 36 mg cholesterol, 9 mg calcium, .84 grams fiber.

Sugar & spice pumpkin pie with brandied ginger cream

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (not all active time)

1/2 teaspoon salt