I served my rustic apple tart to guests last night and a real chef complimented this pie crust. "What's in this?" he asked, wondering how I could get it so tender and flaky. "Well", I said, "It's a special kind of lard I get from a guy at the Farmer's Market.." Leaf lard!" he exclaimed. And he is right. If you can get your hands on this stuff, your pies will be over the moon amazing. If you can't, use any shortening as a substitute and it will still be better than any pie crust you generally eat.

So where do you get leaf lard? It has something to do with pigs, so not vegan friendly. Ask at the meat counter of health food stores, or, if you live in a foodie center of the world, like Asheville, where folks are raising organic, cruelty free meat, at a farmer's market. Frankly, I would not want something from the innards of any pig raised  and butchered by Big Agriculture. But that's just me. Anyway, someone is undoubtedly selling it online somewhere.

The original recipe is my grandma's. She grew up in an Indiana farm culture. They were not skinny people but they cooked some of the best food I've ever tasted!

Nana Jeffries' Flour Paste Pie Crust

makes 1 crust, top and lattice for 9" pie

Sift 2 C all purpose organic flour with 1 t salt. Measure out 1/3 cup of this and place in a smallish bowl with 1/3 c water. Stir to make a smooth paste.

Cut into the flour mixture in the first bowl 1/3 c cold butter and 1/3 c leaf lard (shortening will substitute). Use a pastry blender to work the mixture together until it resembles small peas.

Stir the flour paste into your dough and then work gently with your hands until it forms a ball. Leave some pea sized clumps of lard and butter. These will flatten out and form the flaky layers as you roll the crust out.

Use a floured rolling pin and roll the crust into a circle on a floured surface. Coax your dough from the center outward.

If you aren't able to get it into the pie plate whole, you can repair cracks by gentling overlapping using water as a glue.

Fllow instructions for any pie filling, and enjoy!

The Modern Lace platter is for sale here.


A note from the author:

I get very hungry writing. If you enjoyed this post you can buy me a taco to say thanks.

Lee Wolfe