PIE in the sky.

PIE in the sky.

It is Christmas Eve tomorrow–Pie making day!  I will bake a mincemeat pie for my Dad and my Father in Law–they wait for it all year!  I don’t think it would be Christmas if we didn’t have one…

Today’s tutorial will be pastry.  Mmmmm….

I have tried just about every pastry crust recipe you can think of over the last few years, and the BEST recipe hands down is the one my Grandma taught me…wait for it….made with lard.  I have tried butter, shortening, a combination thereof and many others, but none are as flavourful or flaky as a lard crust.

Good pastry doesn’t have to be elusive–but you do need to follow a couple of tips to make it successful!

1. always use a pastry cutter–the more you handle the flour/lard mixture with your hands the less flaky (read: tough) it will be.

2. always use a cold egg and cold water

3. it is perfect when you think it looks like it needs just a little more water–it doesn’t.  It is perfect–let it be 🙂

4.  add a little love, that always makes it better!

This recipe is right from the NoName Lard box–how easy is that?

Pie Pastry
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 lb lard cut into chunks
1 cold egg
1tbsp white vinegar
cold water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  With pastry blender, cut in lard until mixture resembles course meal with a few pea size pieces.

In a measuring cup, beat egg with vinegar.  Add enough cold water to make 1 cup, mix well.  Drizzle onto flour mixture a bit a ta time, mixing in with a fork, until dough looks evenly moistened and holds together when lightly pressed between your fingers.  You may not need to use all the liquid.

Divide into 6 equal balls (for 9 inch pie), 4 for 9 1/2 inch pie.  Wrap in plastic and pat into discs.  Chill for at least 30 minutes before using.  (at this point you can refrigerate for up to 1 week , or freeze for a few months.)

Roll on lightly floured surface.  If dough cracks while rolling, allow to sit at room temp. for a few minutes.

Tip: even more favourite for me than pie….my Grandma always made tarts with the extra dough.  Cut the pastry into rounds and fit them into muffin tins (so that the dough almost reaches the top of the tin.)  Add a bit of your favourite jam to each tart and bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or so. Mmmm!

Enjoy!

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