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Pie crust being unrolled into a vintage pie tin.

The Flakiest Lard and Butter Pie Crust Recipe


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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: One 9-inch Double Pie Crust 1x

Description

This may be the only pie crust you’ll ever need. It’s tender, buttery, and super flaky. And it’s so versatile it can be used for all your sweet and savory pies, tarts, and, quiche recipes. If you’re looking for a flaky vegan pie crust, simply follow all the measurements and instructions here but substitute the butter and lard with vegetable shortening. If you’re new to making pie crusts, I’ve included step-by-step recipe photos and helpful guidelines for making sure you get the flakiest pie crust ever. 


Ingredients

Scale

Double Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)*
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon lard pinched off into 1/2 inch pieces (90g)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces (90g)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (8g) (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2g)
  • 4 to 7 tablespoons of ice-cold water (60 to 105g)

Single Pie Crust Ingredients (Again, you may choose to make an all-butter or all-lard crust, just be sure to use a total of 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of fat in this single crust recipe. I personally like to use both butter and lard for maximum taste and texture, but this is purely optional.)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (120g)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of butter or lard (or use a combination of both)* (90g)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) (4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1g)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice-cold water (30 to 45g)


Instructions

  1. Prep and chill the ingredients. Measure the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) in a medium bowl and whisk everything to combine. Add the butter and lard and place the bowl into the freezer for at least 30 minutes to chill. 
  2. Cut the fat into the flour mixture. Using a dough cutter (or two butter knives), cut the butter and lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse pea-sized crumbles.
  3. Add the cold water. Start adding the cold water to the mixture 1 tablespoon (15g) at a time while simultaneously stirring the mixture with a fork to incorporate the water into the flour until the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl.  At this point, grab a handful of the dough and if it holds together when squeezed, it has enough water.  If it crumbles, continue adding just a bit more water until the mixture holds itself together, but isn’t wet or sticky. 
  4. Chill the dough. Divide the dough in half and form two round slightly flattened discs, cover each with sustainable plastic wrap, and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 20 minutes but better for at least one hour. If you’re in a hurry, place the dough into the freezer for about 25 minutes or until firm but not frozen. 
  5. Roll out the dough & get it into the pie plate. When the dough has rested and is completely chilled, working as quickly as possible with one dough round at a time, place the disc onto a lightly floured countertop (or between 2 pieces of parchment paper), and using a floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out to approximately 1/4-inch thickness. Using your rolling pin, gently roll up the dough back onto itself on the rolling pin (see photos) and transfer it to the pie plate. Gently unroll it into the pie plate.  Press the dough around and gently into, the sides of the pie plate. Trim the dough if needed leaving approximately 1 inch extra beyond the perimeter of the plate. Pinch or fold the pie dough into a  decorative pattern all the way around being sure to secure the dough to the pie plate to ensure a well-sealed edge. 
  6. Chill the dough-lined pie plate. Place the pie plate into the fridge while you roll out the second dough.
  7. Use the dough as instructed in the pie recipe you are using or use the below as a guide:
    • For One-Crust Pie. Trim the overhanging edge of the pastry 1 inch from the rim of the pie plate. Fold the dough under itself (even with the pie plate and make desired design. Fill and/or bake as directed in the recipe.
    • For Two-Crust Pie. Trim the overhanging edge of the pastry 1/2 inch from the rim of the pie plate and fill it with the desired filling. Roll out the second round of pastry, fold into quarters (or around a floured rolling pin) and gently unfold or unroll the dough out onto the filling. Trim the overhanging edge of the pastry 1 inch from the rim of the pie plate Fold and roll the top edge of the dough under the other pastry pressing on the rim to seal. Flute the dough, or add another decorative design. If needed cover the edge of the dough all the way around the perimeter with 2 to 3 inches of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning and remove the foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake as directed in the recipe. 
    • For a Blind-Baked or Pre-Baked Pie Shell. Follow all the steps for the One-Crust Pie example except do not fill it. Instead, once you have the pie dough in the pie plate ready to go, place it back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes to chill. When ready to bake, prick holes in the bottom and the sides to prevent bubbling, line it with parchment paper, and place dried beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights directly on top and bake in a preheated 475°F/245C° oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown (and up to 20 minutes for a pie that will not be baked again once the filling is added like a coconut cream pie). Remove the parchment and pie weights during the last 5 minutes of baking to ensure the bottom is fully cooked). Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. 
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Notes

  • This recipe can easily be halved if you only need one single pie crust, or wrap the unused dough and freeze it to use later on. 
  • When measuring flour into cups, always use the scoop and level method. And if you’re using a scale, know that the humidity absorption potential of the flour you’re using and also the environment in which it’s stored can affect the weight of the flour.
  • Substitute vegetable shortening for the butter or lard if you prefer. Or replace the butter and lard with just butter or just lard. 
  • Do not skip the step of letting your pie dough rest. It’s very important to let the dough relax so that it’s more pliable and easier to roll out.
  • Using a scale to weigh ingredients delivers consistent results and it’s more convenient.
  • There should always be visible flecks of butter or lard (or any other fat you may be using) in your finished pie dough. These cold flecks of butter steam and puff up when the dough hits the hot oven and begins to bake creating those distinctly flaky layers we love in a perfect pie crust. 
  • Always start with cold ingredients and keep them cold while making the dough. For the same reason we mentioned above, the butter needs to be cold in order for the science to work. But we also like to place the flour in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to help chill it as well. It’ll help everything stay a bit colder while you’re cutting the fat into the flour and mixing in the liquid. The liquid (buttermilk, water, or milk) should also be cold. You get the idea. Cold ingredients help you avoid a mealy or tough dough. The colder the ingredients and the dough are kept while working with it, helps to maintain those visible flecks of fat in the rolled-out dough, and in turn, this creates a crispier, flakier, and more tender pie crust.
  • Once you add the liquid, do not overwork the dough. The less you work the dough, the more tender and flaky the crust will be. you only need to work the dough just until everything comes together and can easily be formed into a disc. If you over-work the dough, the crust will be tough and dense. 

Tips and Techniques for Making a Tender Flaky Pie Crust Every Time

Making a tender flaky pie crust is easy when you follow a few simple guidelines. Here are a few tips and techniques for ensuring you end up with a flaky pie crust every time.

  • There should always be visible flecks of butter or lard (or any other fat you may be using) in your finished pie dough. These cold flecks of butter steam and puff up when the dough hits the hot preheated oven and begins to bake creating those distinctly flaky layers we love in a great pie crust. 
  • Always start with cold ingredients and keep them cold while making the dough. For the same reason we mentioned above, the butter needs to be cold in order for the science to work. You may also place the measured flour into the freezer for 30 minutes or so to help chill it as well. It’ll help everything stay a bit colder while you’re cutting the fat into the flour and then mixing in the cold liquid. The liquid (buttermilk, water, or milk) should be ice cold. Cold ingredients help you avoid a mealy or tough dough. 
  • Once you add the liquid, do not overwork the dough. The less you work the dough, the more tender and flaky the crust will be. you only need to work the dough just until everything comes together and can easily be formed into a disc. If you over-work the dough, the crust will be tough and dense. 

What’s the Easiest Way to Roll Out Pie Crust?

If you’re uncomfortable with knowing how thick or thin (or how large) to roll out the pie crust, there are a few tips that can be helpful to ensure you roll it to the size needed.

  • It can be helpful to first trace the outline for the desired pie size onto parchment paper with a pencil or sharpie. Turn the pie plate upside down onto the parchment paper (the bottom of the pie plate is facing you) and draw the line around the pie plate for reference. Flip the paper over so the dough is not in contact with the markings and start rolling out the dough directly on the parchment paper using the lines as a guide. You typically want to roll the dough about 1 1/2 to 2 inches larger than the circumference of the pie plate.
  • Alternatively, you can use a handy non-slip Silpat or another non-stick mat that conveniently displays common/standard measurements marked and ready to go for various pie sizes, etc. This way, there’s never any question if you’ve rolled your dough too thick or thin. However, if you don’t make a lot of pies or other recipes requiring doughs to be rolled out to specific sizes, don’t waste your money just use the tracing trick I just mentioned.
  • If you want to avoid potentially incorporating too much flour back into a pie crust (while you’re rolling it out), you can always roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper.  Dust your rolling pin from time to time to avoid the pastry from sticking.  Once you’ve got the dough rolled to the desired size, gently roll up the pastry around the pin and then unroll it into your pie plate, trim the edges of the dough, tuck the dough under itself, and press and shape into the desired flute or pattern. Do not leave any gaps between the plate and the dough. Place it into the fridge to rest and chill. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Rest Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Pies + Cobblers + Crostate
  • Method: Mix & Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8
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