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The Ultimate Lard Pie Crust

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This is the only lard pie crust recipe you’ll ever use again.

One bite of this crust and I’m instantly transported back to my mom’s kitchen around the holidays. I hope it will inspire my daughter and your family the same way!

Unbaked lard pie crust with text overlay.

Why Lard?

The use of lard fell out of favor in most American kitchens with the advent of vegetable oil-based substitutes. But guess what? It’s back with a vengeance and I’m leading the charge. Why? Well, light has been shed on healthy fats, and we can now rest assured that fats from animals on pasture are a healthier option than all varieties of refined vegetable oil.

Unbaked lard pie crust in a glass pan.

Make sure you buy lard from a trusted source, preferably an organic, local, sustainable farm that raises meats without antibiotics or hormones and lets the animals graze on plenty of pasture. If you’re really ambitious you can try rendering your own lard from pork fat. It’s really not as hard as it seems. 

As more chefs and home cooks learn about traditional foods we are reminded that these simple, old-school recipes are to be treasured.

Want To Learn More About Shaping This Dough?

I wrote a post just for you! 

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This lard pie crust recipe yields two pie crusts, or a top and a bottom for a covered pie.

This flaky lard pie crust will blow your mind!

The Ultimate Lard Pie Dough

Yield: 2 Crusts
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This traditional recipe makes the most delicious flaky pie crust you will ever eat.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

I like to use my food processor for this recipe but a big bowl will also work.

  1. Sift or blend the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Cut in the lard and process until the flour and lard is a sandy consistency. 
  2. In a separate bowl mix the egg, vinegar, and ice water. Add the liquid slowly into your flour mixture. Be careful not to over-process at this point (over-processing leads to a tough final product).
  3. When the dough comes together remove it from the bowl and cut it in half. Shape each half into a round patty and wrap individually in plastic wrap. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll, shape, and bake the pie dough according to your pie filling recipe.

Notes

This recipe can be fully or partially blind baked for a custard or uncooked filling pie.

  1. Chill the shaped pie shell for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375℉.
  3. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill it completely with dry beans or pie weights. It must be completely full!
  4. Bake the crust for 7 minutes for a partially baked crust and 15 minutes (or to golden brown) for a fully baked crust.

Perfect Pie Dough Recipes To Try

The Perfect Sprouted Whole Wheat Pastry Crust

An unbaked pie crust in a pan.

Sweet And Buttery Sourdough Pie Crust

An unpaked pie in a dish

Madeline

Wednesday 26th of January 2022

Can these be made in advance and stored in the freezer until use?

Butter For All

Friday 28th of January 2022

Hi Madeline!

Yes! You can freeze the dough in well wrapped disks, then just defrost and roll out as needed. Enjoy!

Darlene

Thursday 16th of December 2021

I have been a home baker for years but never made my own pie crust. In fact, never baked a homemade pie until I saw your pie crust recipe with lard. Let me tell you, it’s been a challenge for me to master but I DID IT. Everybody is loving my homemade pie crust. I’m so excited ! I’ve made an apple pie almost every weekend this fall. I can’t keep them in the house. Now I’m baking them for fall bday gifts. Thank you so for your detailed instructions.

Butter For All

Monday 20th of December 2021

Hi Darlene!

WOOOHOOO! That is so inspirational! Never give up, right!?

Thanks so much for the nice note!

Courtney

Jackie

Saturday 11th of December 2021

Hi! This looks like one awesome recipe!

I was hoping you could give me your expert opinion...

1--Do you think this recipe would work with store bought lard that's been homogenized?

2--Do you believe it would work to substitute the egg for a dried egg, such as Judee’s Whole Egg Powder?

Thank you so much!

Butter For All

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Hi Jackie!

1. Yes, it will work well with store bought lard. But as you know I can't recommend homogenization wholeheartedly. Sometimes we have to work with what we have! 😊 2. Yes, you can use dried egg. Just rehydrate it as described on the package and proceed with the measurement for one egg.

I hope you end up with a delicious crust!

Courtney

Sarah

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Hi,

I have been trying to make pie crust for years. It got so bad that I have resorted to store bought crusts. This year I am going to try again. First, is your recipe for a nine or ten inch pie. Second, can I use a KitchenAid to blend. If so, do I use the paddle or the whisk tool?

Sarah

Tuesday 21st of December 2021

@Butter For All,

Thanks Courtney,

I have to go with either my kitchen aid or a non pastry blender (recommendations?). I don't have a Cuisinart and my hands don't work as well as they use to.

Butter For All

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Hi Sarah!

I'm excited to hear how this one goes! This dough can be stretched to fit a 10 inch pan. You just might not have quite as much overhang to fold under for the crust. You don't want to work this dough in a stand mixer. That kind of agitation will make the really tough. But you can use a cuisinart with blade attachment. The blade cuts the dough instead of mixing. It is still possible to overwork it, so only use pulse function and just until the dough comes together.

Wishing you the best success!

Courtney

Regina

Friday 26th of November 2021

I made this for Thanksgiving and it tasted good but I think I did something wrong. The crust was extremely crumbly and flaky. It was falling apart a little before putting it in the pie pan. When I cut slices it barely stayed together. Did I not work it enough? I understand you don't want to overwork dough, but can you underwork/under mix the dough?

Butter For All

Sunday 12th of December 2021

Hi Regina!

I'm so sorry to hear that. Usually you just need to add a small amount of extra water, just enough to get the dough to come together. It's a fine balance, with the water. And yes pie dough can be overworked, but that it hard to do with a dry dough. A wet dough could be mixed too much and end up getting tough.

Hope that is helpful and the next crust is a success!

Courtney

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