Take Two for January 18, 2013

Weekend Alibi: Ice skating, Star Party, apple pie

Skaters take to the ice at an outdoor ri

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Skaters take to the ice at an outdoor rink beneath office towers in downtown Los Angeles, on November 21, 2011. Marking its fourteenth year, Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square gives locals more used to the beaches of southern California the experience of ice-skating beneath the city's downtown office towers.

KPCC's Meghan McCarty is back and better than ever in a revamped and retooled Weekend Alibi. For those that don't know, it's your guide for a fun weekend.

On tap this weekend: Pretend you're in the colder climate of DC by skating by the last weekend of Downtown on Ice, the ice rink at Pershing Square. Or you could emulate the president's star-studded night by checking out the Star Party at the Griffith Observatory, where astronomy geeks will help you sight the season's sparkling constellations.

Finally, there's nothing more American than apple pie ... We'll give you the lowdown on where to find the best ones in LA. 

OOLPROOF VODKA PIE DOUGH
from America's Test Kitchen

Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor — do not substitute. 

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon table salt 

2 tablespoons sugar 

12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices 

1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces 

1/4 cup cold vodka 

1/4 cup cold water 

Process 1½ cups flour, salt and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening, and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds, and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl. 

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide 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 2 days. Makes crust for 1 pie. 


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