Want to make perfect pie crust but don’t know how? I have the secret.
Who doesn’t love pie? Apple pie, pecan pie, coconut cream pie… mmm! A savory pie makes a wonderful dinner, especially on a cold winter night.
Be honest. Are you intimidated at the thought of trying to make pie crust from scratch? If so, you’re not alone. Most people think making pie crust is hard. But it’s actually quite easy. You’ll be astonished at how simple it is to make the most delicious, flaky, perfect pie crust.
How to Render Lard or Tallow
Here’s my recipe for how to render lard or tallow — it’s easy! I like to render lard and tallow in my crockpot.
Makes enough for two open-faced pie crusts (or one pie crust with a crust top).
Equipment Needed for This Recipe
Rolling pin (you can use a wine bottle in a pinch)
Pie weights (for blind baking; you can find these at a restaurant supply store or cooking store; you can also use dried beans or rice)
Where to Find Lard or Tallow
I always make my pie crust with beef tallow or lard and grass-fed butter. Never shortening. Tallow, lard and butter are healthy traditional fats. Shortening is a fake food and it’s not good for you.
Do not buy lard at the supermarket. It’s full of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and it’s almost always partially hydrogenated. Avoid!
Make sure you get good quality lard or tallow, from a farmer who raises animals on pasture and does not feed them genetically modified corn and soy — any grain they are fed should be organic.
Most grass farmers will sell you pig or beef fat, or suet, which you can render into lard or tallow (beef tallow is also the very best fat for French fries). The best, most flakiest pie crusts I’ve ever made are with beef tallow. If you use beef tallow, you will need to cut it up smaller (see below in the recipe).
Talk to the farmers at your local farmer’s market and ask them if they have pig or beef fat. In Los Angeles, I buy my pig fat from Jimenez Farm and I get beef fat from Rocky Canyon or Lindner Bison. You can also look up farms online on LocalHarvest.com.
If you can get leaf lard (this is the lard from around the kidneys of the pig), that is the very best.
If you can’t find good lard or tallow, you can make your pie crust with 100% butter. It’s still very good.
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