It is a rare Sunday that I don’t have a Sunday Supper post to share, but we had an unprecedented Friday Sunday Supper post instead. This gave me a good excuse to share one of the back logged recipes in my queue. We had dinner guests last weekend; and after my friend, Barb, of Creative Culinary, raved about her pie crust made with leaf lard, I had to dig my stash out of the freezer. I baked up both a peach pie and this lattice topped raspberry pie. My pie crust is quite similar to Barb’s. We both use a combination of butter, for flavor, and lard, for exquisite flakiness. My recipe made its debut in this blog post from Thanksgiving 2010.
Leaf Lard + Premium Butter = Best Pie Crust Ever
For those of you who haven’t heard of leaf lard, it’s rendered from the pork fat found around the kidneys and the loin. It is the highest grade of lard, with little pork flavor and known to produce the flakiest pie crusts. My mother-in-law would always make the BEST lard pie crusts. I use a combination of leaf lard and butter for the best flavor and texture. Local friends can find leaf lard at Moody’s Meats. It keeps well in the freezer and I always stock up at Thanksgiving. And also make sure to use the highest quality butter you can find. Kerrygold sells a terrific European style butter, made from the milk of grass-fed Irish dairy cows. Kerrygold’s philosophy is that feeding their cows the best diet ensures the best milk and, therefore, the best butter and cheese. Hard to argue with that logic.
Well, needless to say, our company raved about the pies. And the hubby, too. As he finished off the leftovers, one slice at a time, he complimented it again and again. I hope you can track down some leaf lard and some Kerrygold Irish butter for your next crust. You won’t be disappointed.
- 2½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 12 tablespoons cold premium butter (I prefer Kerrygold), and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 8 tablespoons lard, leaf lard preferred, cold, and cut into pieces similar size to the butter.
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water or enough till crust just holds together when pinched between your fingers
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt and sugar to mix. Add butter and lard and pulse 3-5 times, till mixture resembles cornmeal, with a few pea sized chunks of fat. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, till dough just holds together.
- Form dough into two balls and flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate one hour or longer. Roll and fit pie tin with one round of crust; trim edges to just a bit wider than pie plate.. Place in fridge while preparing filling.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, tapioca, cornstarch and raspberries; let stand for 15 minutes.
- Roll out remaining dough to at least a 12 inch circle. Cut into strips 1-1¼ inches wide. On a silpat or piece of parchment, weave strips into a lattice crust. Start with your two longest strips crossing over in the center. See link below for more details. You can also not weave, but instead lay half the strips in one direction, and lay the other half over them perpendicular to the first set. Space the strips so that the lattice will cover all the fruit filling. Slide silpat or parchment onto a flat baking sheet and chill for a few minutes to let dough firm up slightly, but not so long that it gets hard and brittle.
- Scoop filling into pie plate and dot with pieces of the 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Carefully transfer lattice crust and center over top of pie (I use a large cake mover). Trim, seal and flute edges. Brush with milk; sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
You can also weave the lattice crust right on top of the pie. Your strips may get stained from the process of plaiting, but the juices will bubble onto the lattice during baking, so the top will never be pristine. There are photos of how to do this on Simply Recipes.
I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature more tips on some of my upcoming blog posts. Click on the #SkinnyTip tag at the end of this post to see all my previous tips.
Tip #39: Don’t starve yourself. When you do, the tendency is to over eat when you finally sit down to a meal or park yourself in front of the fridge. It’s much better to eat smaller amounts 3 or more times a day. Incorporate some protein and healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish like salmon and tuna) in each meal which will help keep you full longer.
Disclaimer: I was provided coupons for Kerrygold products, but was not paid for writing this post. All opinions are my own.