My mother and grandmother always talked about how good lard was. My mom tells a story about the early days of vegetable shortening in pies. She describes a group of ladies, dissatisfied with their pie crust, whispering disdainfully to each other, “Oh, this is made with that Crisco.”
I had never tried a lard pie crust, and in fact didn’t even know how to attain the stuff. That changed after reading this post on how to render lard. I took my nauseous, first trimester-pregnant self down to our local butcher and asked for a hunk of pork fat. It was 50 cents a pound, but she gave it to me for free because she never heard of anyone rendering lard and she didn’t want me to pay for it if it didn’t work for some reason.
About ten months later, I’m still pulling out jars of lard from the freezer from that first batch I made. It was a successful experiment- and I’d wager that it makes the tastiest, flakiest pie crust in all the land.
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Without further ado, I present to you our favorite lovely lard pie crust, adapted from the double crust pastry recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition Cookbook.
Double Pie Crust Made With Lard
- 2 1/4 C flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 C lard
- 1/2 C cold water
1) Stir together flour and salt.
2) Cut in lard with a pastry blender (like this one) until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
3) Sprinkle cold water over mixture a little at a time, tossing it with a fork and pushing wet sections to one side as you go. You may need to add a tablespoon or two more to the dough, but add only enough that all the flour mixture is moistened.
4) Press dough together into two balls. (At this point, I find its helpful to wrap and refrigerate the dough for 10-15 minutes before I roll it out. But that’s optional.)
Now you can use the dough as desired (or freeze it). And that’s it!