Have you ever given lard a second thought? I sure hadn’t. It sounds gross and isn’t good for you, that’s all I needed to know………or so I thought. I was to make pecan pies for the Thanksgiving dinner at work and decided to make them from scratch (something I’ve only done once about 13 years ago). Well, I was reading some things on the web and found where a woman was talking about lard being a good. As I read she said that it is lower in cholesterol than butter…….no way. So I googled it, you know what? It is! 1/3 the cholesterol compared to the same amount of butter. I also found some information that said that many chefs prefer lard but do not use it because of pork being prohibited from some diets for religious reasons. HMMMM, this made me think that I needed to give this a try, and my pie crusts would be a great place to start. I bought the lard which comes in a small bucket and is found with the shortening & oils for those that don’t know (I thought it was with the butter). I have to say, lard is not pleasant smelling. The odor is not strong so it didn’t really bother me though. I will post the recipe at the end of my post, it is super simple. The dough worked up really nice and clean up was so much easier. Usually when you roll out something that uses butter or crisco, it smears across the table when you try to clean it up, this didn’t do that at all. Butter or shortening is usually really hard to wash off your hands, this is not. If you have to roll out something that uses butter or shortening it sticks really bad and you have to use a lot of flour, this did not. My hands were also very soft when I finished, and I have cronic dry hands. This made me wonder if women that always used lard had soft hands from using it. The baked results? The crusts baked beautifully, they didn’t seem to brown as quickly as other pie crusts that I’ve used. Therefore I didn’t have to cover my crusts to keep them from burning. I baked my Pecan Pies for 1 hour and the crusts were the most beautiful medium brown color and so flakey. This is how will be doing my crusts in the future. I also stuck one in the freezer to see how well that works.
I really enjoy things like this, makes me feel connected to women who did things so much simpler. Like I’m connecting with my grandmother and other women in my family that would have done things this way. I don’t mean that in a weird cosmic way, but in a way of this is how it should be. We so often discredit the ways of older women and women of our past in today’s culture, “that’s too old fashoned”….”this way is faster or better”. Maybe we should be learning from them like God instructs in Titus 2. They have much to teach on spiritual issues as well as everyday living.
Here is the recipe as copied from here at Cooks.com
LARD PIE CRUST
I know in this day it is not considered healthy to use animal fats in our diet. This is a recipe that my grandmother used for as long as I can remember. The lard was usually freshly rendered from butchering, the stove was an old monarch wood, and the fruit inside the pie was usually home grown and canned by her. She also took first prize every time she entered them in the fair. She just left us this year at the age of 100, and not from heart disease.
I use this crust when I want to impress company with a pie.
8 OR 9 INCH CRUST:
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. lard
2 tbsp. water
9 INCH TWO CRUST:
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. lard
1/4 c. water (I used 1/2 Cup)
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in lard with pastry blender until small pea size particles are obtained. Sprinkle with water a little at a time. Mix with fork until flour is moist. Press into a ball and turn out onto a floured board. If making a two crust pie divide in half.
Roll out with rolling pin. Try not to use too much extra flour because it makes the crust tough. Roll out to desired size. Usually about 1 inch bigger around than the tin. Fold pastry in half and move up to pan. Unfold and put pastry into pan. Try not to stretch the pastry because this causes shrinking in baking. Sprinkle the top crust with a little sugar to evenly brown.