Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leaf Lard Pie Crust

Some of the Leaf Lard made it into pie crust today.
I made a double batch of my favorite dough as I'm determined to try several different designs to see which I like best. Something I've wanted to do every since I saw the idea of making pies in muffin tins. Turn overs are another things I've never done or a tart either. Just plain simple pies in a pie tin. It amazes me how many things I've never done and how long the list is of things I want to try.

But before I can move on to that experiment I've first to make the dough.
My favorite has vinegar, an egg, salt, and flour along with water. The shortening, flour and water type is tasteless and to my tastebuds not a big step above the ones you buy at the store.
So if you haven't tried making a crust with vinegar and an egg give this one a try. It's great for beginning pie maker since the vinegar allows you to handle the dough more without it becoming tough. My crust recipe is for 3 crusts and I'll quote to you this recipe despite the fact I doubled it. Then if you wish to make several pies you also can double the recipe. I just wanted you to know because this influences the large amount of ingredients that I was photographing.

First place in a bowl:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Stir until the salt is distributed
then add:

1 1/4 cups Leaf Lard
shortening will also do and I'm going to work out a combination of shortening and butter one of these days when I run out of lard. I've made shortening based pie crust for years but one of my goals is to move away from using it as much as I possibly can for reasons that it is a highly processed product. That and it gives me a stomach ache always a good motivator.

Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry fork. If you don't have one just use two table knives or Mommy screwdrivers as we call them. More things have been unscrewed in this house with a table knife than a screwdriver from my husband's tool box. Today I loosened some trim and unsrewed the light switch plates in the kitchen with one. I'm painting a bright sunny yellow.
So get your Mommy Screwdrivers one in each hand in a position like you are going to cut the shortening. Bring both knives together overlapping them and then cut outward while moving around the bowl.

Repeat the cutting the shortening into the flour until it resembles the picture above.

Then stir in:
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vinegar
(I like to use apple cider vinegar.)
5 Tablespoons of cold water

Stirring will become difficult as you distribute the wet ingredients with the dry. At this point, knead the dough VERY briefly. I know it doesn't looked very well worked in but as you roll the dough out it will meld the ingredients together.
Remember even with the vinegar if you handle the pie dough like it was bread dough you will loose the flaky crust texture you are aiming for.

Put in the fridge for at least three hours. I like to put mine in a plastic bag and pressing around the dough to remove as much air as possible.
Then I don't use it until the next day. Remember I love make ahead things as I only have a brief time to work on any one project.

Now I'd best get back to painting.

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