The Perfect Pie Crust Recipe made with Lard and Butter
Posted by Warren
Makes one 10 to 9 inch pie, double crust, dough. Total prep 30 mins
The Quest for the Perfect Pie Crust or is it a resurrection of the past.
Lard makes the best pie crust?
Have you heard? Lard makes the best pie crust.
Leaf lard is used in this recipe along with unsalted butter. Leaf lard is fat that surrounds the pig’s kidneys. It is superior in quality when rendered the right way and can make some of the best tasting and flakiest crust ever.
Lard pie crust experiment
Experimenting with crust after crust, the quest for the great pie crust took much time. Friends offered feedback and suggestions. Various ratios of butter, leaf lard, water and flour were tried. Baking temperatures and times were varied as well.
After going through all this work, I discovered this recipe has been around for a long time. It was published in “The White House Cookbook by Mrs. F.L. Gillette in 1887”. It reads:
PLAIN PIE CRUST printed in the year of 1887
Two and a half cupfuls of sifted flour, one cupful of shortening, half butter and half lard cold, a pinch of salt, a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder sifted through the flour. Rub thoroughly the shortening into the flour. Mix together with half a teacupful of cold water, or enough to form a rather stiff dough; mix as little as possible, just enough to get it into shape to roll out; it must be handled very lightly. This rule is for two pies.
When you have a little pie crust left do not throw it away; roll it thin, cut in small squares and bake. Just before tea put a spoonful of raspberry jelly on each square.
Can I use Armour Lard in this pie crust? No!
Armour lard needs no refrigeration because it has been processed and modified. Who knows where the fat came from. This lard is hydrogenated and will add a process taste to your crust. If you want true, authentic, flavor of a classic pastry made with fine ingredients, you must use leaf lard.
Fine leaf lard will not add a porky flavor to your pie crust. If you were to taste it straight, it has a smooth texture with a creamy milk shake like flavor that coats your tongue. Did not MacDonald's use lard in their ice cream?
Any processed lard that does not need refrigeration will not produce a fine pastry. So why go through all the trouble to use a vintage recipe with inferior products.
Armour Lard ingredients printed on the package
Prepared From Lard And Hydrogenated Lard, BHA, Propyl Gallate & Citric Acid Added As Preservatives.
Refrigeration not required.
Armour lard needs no refrigeration because it has been processed and modified. Who knows where the fat came from. This lard is hydrogenated and will add a process taste to your crust.
If you want true, authentic, flavor of a classic pastry made with fine ingredients, you must use leaf lard.
So here is the famous pie crust recipe.
—Pie Crust Recipe made with Lard and Butter—
Pastry dough - double crust
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (Red bag)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon cold canola oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold leaf lard
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter (any brand wrapped in foil)
Directions making the dough
1. Add all your dry ingredients to a chilled glass bowl and tossed the mixture with a fork.
2. Cube your fats into small pieces and add to the bowl.
3. Using just your finger tips rub the cold fat into the flour. Stop when the mixture resembles cracker crumbs and tiny peas.
the water/oil mixture all at once
4. Whip the ice cold water and oil until it looks cloudy and the mixture looks a little foamy. Quickly add two thirds of this liquid to the dry ingredients and toss with a fork. If it is not coming together add the remaining liquid.
It will make it tough.
5. The dough should look somewhat dry but come together when squeezed in your hands.
6. Now divide this mixture in half to make two balls by squeezing it all together. Compress and flatten the balls to form two large disks.
7. Wrap disks tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes. You can freeze them for two months by adding a foil wrap to the covered disks.
8. Your dough is now ready for your favorite pie recipe.