If you haven’t eaten a pie made with lard instead of butter or *gasp* shortening, you’re missing out on the food of our ancestors, and ancestors of not-that-long-ago.

Its only within the last century that vegetable shortening became common in pie crusts. And while butter is a much better alternative with its flavors and creaminess, nothing beats the age-old magic of pure lard in a pie crust. Not greasy, not porky, just the perfect binding agent resulting in flaky, toothsome pie crusts.

Andrea Chesman‘s lard pie crust recipe is the only one you’ll ever need, whether for a sweet pie, or savory. Works out perfectly every time. Pictured is this same recipe used for an apple pie, complete w pig cookie cutter vent. The crust was still crispy the next day when the three people in this house finished it off.

Lard Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1-3 T sugar
  • 3/4 cup leaf lard (5.5 oz/155g)
  • 2/3 cup ice cold water + more if needed

Instructions

  • Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon sugar for a savory pie, or 2-3 teaspoons for a sweet pie. Whisk into flour.
  • Cut in the lard w pastry blender or rub w your fingertips until mixture resembles pebbly sand.
  • Stir in the water until well mixed.
  • You can also do all of the above in a food processor by using cubed lard and pulsing until the dough forms a ball.
  • Gather the dough into a ball, divide, and wrap in plastic to chill for 30 mins before using.
  • Divide in half prior to rolling out to use in your preferred pie recipe.

Adapted from Andrea Chesman