I grew up going to church that had a lot of rules. A lot of rules! I suppose most religions are based on rules but these rules were somewhat non-traditional as far as modern churches go. I won’t get into all the specifics but one of the major rules had to do with pork and port products. Not allowed. No we didn’t eat kosher although my best friend was Jewish and her Mom would make me special food when I ate dinner there. No pork meant no lard which meant no Oreos, Ritz crackers, or store-made pies when I was a kid. I had my first real piece of bacon when I was in my early 20’s which made me ask, where have you been all my life? It took me several years after that to get used to pepperoni on pizza and I’m not inclined to include pork on the weekly menu without seriously consideration. So this is a reach for me. Not for my husband however. He was delighted when I mentioned I wanted to see if pie crust made with lard is really better. I even decided to make cherry pie using canned pie filling to delight him even more (not my idea of gourmet). Sometimes you need to compromise in a marriage and this is that time for me.
Pie Crust with Lard
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup lard
- 6 to 7 Tbsp cold water
Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in lard till pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, till all the dough is moistened. Form dough into two balls and allow it to rest 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
I could tell that the texture was going to be different as I mixed this dough. My verdict was that I prefer the pie crust with shortening. I wonder if that is my subconscious rejecting the lard. I mean I was kind of brainwashed to think that lard was “unclean” as a kid. This whole idea was inspired by a blog post by Earthy Delights called Lard Story. It was so fascinating to me. I’m not done with lard just yet. I’m determined to accept lard as a normal food.
My husband was indifferent but appreciated that I made a pie just for him. He commented that he didn’t think it was necessary to make it using the fancy lattice crust. Doesn’t he know me? It was necessary. That was my favorite part of making this pie.