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Adding my 2-cents 2 the article MarilynFL posted at Thread 15459, specifically lard crusts.

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Posted to Thread #15784 at 5:11 pm on Aug 7, 2009

I was raised eating lard crusts; my mom used lard for all her pies--custard, cream, fruit, nut, the works--and I have never thought lard crusts tasted or smelled 'piggy' or that they had an 'oinky quality' to them.

Granted, I do not buy and use lard from the grocery store, but instead purchase it from a business that slaughters and sells pork, and I always ask for leaf lard. Other types of lard probably do have a stronger flavor.

I got to wondering if perhaps the testers at 'boston.com' maybe hadn't used leaf lard so I called their lard source of Lionette's Market in the South End, and yes, that establishment does sell leaf lard, but of course, the clerk I spoke with had no idea what type had been sold to the boston.com pie crust testers.

And just maybe--since I was raised eating nothing but lard crusts--I don't notice an 'off' taste as much as a person who just sampled his/her first bite of a lard crust. ???

At any rate, I thought I would share my mother's lard pie crust recipe:

The following is Pie Crust as made by E. Elaine Wiggins for over 60 years. This is the original version; I will also post my adaptation.

2 cups flour
1 cup lard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

That's it! Mom assumed any baker would intuitively know to have all the ingredients chilled and also the proper technique to cut the fat into the dry ingredients + how to gradually sprinkle and mix in the ice water. Mother always made her pie dough totally by hand and rolled her pie crusts out on a well-floured board. The above will make enough for a 2-crust 9" pie.

I could never get Mother's lard crust recipe to come out properly and discovered that using my food processor plus rolling out the dough between sheets of wax paper make a huge difference so here is my version of the above:

2-1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup lard
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water (start with a single Tbsp)

Make sure all ingredients are chilled, including flour. Pulse flour and salt a few times in Cusinart to mix together. Put chunks of chilled lard in a circle on top of the dry ingredients and use on and off motions to cut it in until the lard is pea-size or smaller. At this point begin adding ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse a bit after each addition. (One time I needed only 1 Tbsp of water and on another occasion I used 5-1/2 Tbsp.)

When you can squeeze the pie crust mixture in your hand and it holds together, then you are ready to dump it out onto the counter and pull it together with your hands or a bench press to form a big ball. Then give it the old frissage process as I attempted to describe in post 15459.2 and as charlie so accurately defined in 15459.2.2. Divide dough in half and roll out each section in between 2 sheets of wax paper until the diameter is 11 inches or so.

So, that's my take on lard crusts. Oinky? Piggy? No way, Jose!

Do any of you out there make a lard crust? Just wondering.



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