Lard Pie Crust
What is lard?
Lard is the pure fat that is rendered from the fat from a pig. The fat is heated over low heat to melt down the fat into a liquid. This allows any water to evaporate off and allows you to strain the liquid lard through a cheesecloth/sieve to remove any bits of pork meat that might be present in the fat. This process of rendering results in having the pure pork fat.
When your lard is made from pigs that have lived outdoors in the sunshine, the pork fat will be chockful of lots of Vitamin D. There will also be lots of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) as well.
The high melting point of lard means that the lard doesn't melt into the flour as easily as other fats. This results in the flakiest of pie crusts you'll ever have!
How to Source Lard:
Your best bet for sourcing lard is to go directly to your local farmer who is raising their pigs outdoors with organic feed. The sunshine will help concentrate the Vitamin D in the pigs fat and this means you get lots of Vitamin D from the lard!
You can often buy pre-rendered lard from your farmer but you can also save money by rendering your own!
Making lard from pork fat:
Rendering your own lard is a fairly simple process. Find out more on how to render lard and how to store it here on the Lazuli Farms blog. You can also find more information inside The Kitchen Club membership on rendering and using animal fats.
How to Use Lard Pie Crust:
- shepherd's or cottage pie
- bacon cheddar quiche
- beef hand pies (recipe in the A to Z Pork & Beef Ebook)
- apple hand pies
- butter tarts
- irish potato pie
- Tourtiere pie
Other Ways to Use Lard:
Lard works amazingly well for pan frying and deep frying due to it's high melting and smoke point. Keep a jar of lard near your stovetop and use it when frying eggs, vegetables, chicken, and anything else. You can fill your saucepan or deep fryer with lard to make donuts, fried chicken, or french fries.
Use lard for making crispy oven fries - just spoon a number of small teaspoons of lard over the potato wedges before putting them in the oven. Once melted (about 5 to 10 minutes), stir the lard into the potatoes.
Use lard when making foil packets of potatoes and/or veggies for cooking on the grill.
Lard can be used in baking as well. It works great for making bread, pizza crust, and other doughs. It can work for making cookies and other desserts although it can impart a bit of a porky taste, so butter might be a better choice.
Flaky Pie Crust made with Lard Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup lard, cold
- 5 tablespoons ice cold water
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut lard into the flour mixture with a knife, pastry blender, or fork. Keep cutting the lard in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add cold water one tablespoonful at a time. Mixing with a fork, mix well after each addition. Add enough water for the dough to form and for no flour to be left on the edges of the bowl. Using your hands, divide dough into two equal pieces. Form the dough into two balls. Shape the balls into flattened dough balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
Remove from the fridge and your ready to roll out your pie dough. Each ball will make one layer of pie pastry (either top or bottom). This recipe will make dough for a pie with a top or for two pies with crust only.