Homemade apple pies amongst an Autumn season setting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on November 14, 2021. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
How Lard Can Help Your Pie Crust
Making a flawless pie crust at home gets easier with practice, but less experienced bakers may overwork the dough, get it too warm while kneading, or do something else to end up with a disappointingly soggy or dense crust. If you struggle to bake a perfect pie, you might want to try cutting some lard into your crust dough.
Many bakers swear by using lard, AKA pork fat, for the flakiest pie crusts, since lard doesn't melt as readily as butter and is guaranteed to puff up in the oven instead of disappearing into the dough. “The flake you get is unsurpassed,” says Martha Stewart editorial director Sarah Carey, who has more tips on how to use lard.
Carey recommends using 70% butter and 30% lard for a great pie crust, and fruit fillings stand up to the lard's slightly savory flavor better than custards or meringues. Look for pure rendered leaf lard at the butcher's or farmer’s market, which is more neutral, not as porky, and isn't hydrogenated and loaded with preservatives.