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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

paula

Sunday 6th of June 2021

Just looking at comments and thought I might add my 2 cents.

I render lard from my own forest-raised pigs. If you are detecting "pig" in the lard, it is because you are not using "leaf" lard which is a specific fat from the rib cage of the pig. This is preferable for use in baking. If rendered at the correct heat, there will be no detectable flavor. Lard made with other fats from other parts of the pig can be/are used to make lard, but that's when you might notice some distinctly porky flavor. Time and temps are important in the process of rendering.

Also, I find some of my lards are soft and need refrigeration before working into dough...chilled like you would butter. Not sure what causes the differences in batches, but have found it does not allow me to follow a specific recipe to the T; I might need to adjust water according. If you are buying local, realize there will be variations based on many factors...not the same as a factory brand. But do buy the best lard you can come by. Local heritage, pasture-raised or forest-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free pigs are the ticket to tasty pie crust.

Butter For All

Thursday 10th of June 2021

Hi Paula!

Thanks so much for the valuable contribution!

Becky Jean

Friday 16th of April 2021

Excellent recipe. Perfect texture. Thanks for posting. I needed to add a bit more water, too.

Raw,(unbaked) it has a decided pork flavor, but I couldn't detect the porkiness when baked into a cherry pie, which really surprised me (neither could my family.) I couldn't get local lard and used the chemical laden commercial one from the national meat processor. It doesn't specify "leaf" on the label. Is that why I could detect porkiness?

I wondering which is worse for one's health, Crisco or the chemicals and diet from factory farmed pork and its rendered lard?

Many of these type of recipes call for 1 T vinegar. Yours is the first with only 1 tsp. Why did you use less, if there's a food chemistry reason for less?

Thanks!

Vicky

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

This pie dough turned out perfectly. I usually use shortening or butter but my husband accidentally bought lard and I had no idea how I’d make pie dough. This recipe turned out perfectly I didn’t make any changes only had to add a bit more water when it wasn’t coming together. Flaky, crispy, perfect! Thank you so much! ❤️

Butter For All

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Hi Vicky!

I'm so happy it worked out for you! Thanks for leaving such great feedback!

Courtney

Nancy Jameson

Friday 18th of December 2020

I can't wait to try your recipe but I have a question. I only need one crust so I was wondering: is it possible to freeze the other half for later? If so, is it better to freeze rolled out for a shell or just a dough ball? New to making my own pie dough!

Butter For All

Saturday 19th of December 2020

Hi Nancy!

For sure! This crust freezes beautifully. Just wrap the disk of dough in Saran Wrap and place it in a ziplock bag. It will keep for up to 6 months, but I bet you'll use it before too long!

Hope you enjoy the crust! Happy Holidays!

Courtney

Marie

Friday 27th of November 2020

This pie crust was perfection! I followed it to a T using lard I rendered myself and made an apple pie using America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe and it was divine! The crust was flaky and light but not at all dry. I highly recommend it. I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe.

Butter For All

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi Marie!

Wonderful! I'm so happy to hear it. :) Thanks you so much for leaving positive feedback!

Happy Holidays!

Courtney

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