All-Lard Pie Crust

September 27, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Makes 3 double-crust pies (6 dough rounds)
Author Notes

This recipe comes from the back of the Tenderflake box. It's crisper and less soft than a classic all-butter pie crust, with a very subtle vinegar tang that works really nicely in sturdier fruit pies or savory pies. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

Test Kitchen Notes

Sometimes the best recipes do indeed come from the back of the box; in this case, this recipe comes from Tenderflake. People do indeed swear by Tenderflake when it comes to baking the best pie crusts, so you might as well use their go-to recipe when the holidays roll around and everyone is craving a homemade pie. Sure, you could go the store-bought route, but there's something very satisfying and relaxing about making the dough from scratch, and this recipe proves it's easy enough to do. Besides, who wouldn't want a pound of lard in their pie crust? Butter, step aside, it's time for lard to have its moment in the spotlight.

Simply cut the lard into the flour, then add the egg, vinegar, and some ice water. Stir until a ball of dough forms, then divide the ball into three pieces, and that's all there is to it. No fancy ingredients or equipment required. And you'll have dough for three pies! That should be more than enough to keep your hungry guests happy. You can scale it down of course if you're baking just one pie, but you can freeze the dough and have some on hand whenever the mood strikes. You can fill with whatever you'd like and then bake according to the recipe you're using, this crust is that versatile and foolproof. After one bite, you'll certainly see why many bakers favor an all-lard pie dough over an all-butter one, but you've got to try it first to believe it! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lard
  • 1 large egg, beaten slightly
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 cups ice water
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and the salt. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers, cut the lard into the flour mixture until coarse, pea-sized lumps form.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the egg and vinegar. Add enough ice water to make 1 cup. Slowly pour into the lard mixture, stirring as you go. Continue to stir with a fork until it comes together in a ball. You may need to drizzle in a little more ice water.
  3. Using your hands, gently press the dough together into a ball and divide into three pieces. Press each ball into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Bake the crust according to the directions in your recipe. (Each ball of dough will make one double-crust pie.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cherie Luukkonen
    Cherie Luukkonen
  • ChefJune
  • Shelley Matheis
    Shelley Matheis
  • bsturt

10 Reviews

Cherie L. September 13, 2018
I only use an all lard crust recipe. Always delicious!
bsturt October 29, 2015
What lard should I use?
Sharon October 29, 2015
Not every grocery store will have it. Those that do will probably not have a large selection.
ChefJune October 27, 2015
My mom used Crisco for pie crusts, but these days I can't bring myself to use that. I'm following my aunts' footsteps with lard. It's easy to render the leaf lard. :) I don't use vinegar in my crusts. I love how flaky they turn out.
Shelley M. October 27, 2015
Isnt Crisco lard?
Kat October 29, 2015
When I think about lard, I think about fat rendered from an animal source, like pork or beef. Crisco is made from vegetable oils and other ingredients that a lot of people may find undesirable nowadays. My ancestors used lard and my grandmother and mother used Crisco. Me, I use both, depending on the availability of lard :)
jamnbake February 28, 2017
No. It's solidified vegetable oil.
Sharon October 26, 2015
I only make filled pies (for me, it's all about the filling, not the crust) and I have always made all-lard crusts. This one is similar to the scaled down version that I use.
Alicia October 25, 2015
My mother's pie crust, much loved far and wide, was an all-lard one, but simpler than this , as she did not use egg or vinegar, just flour, water, lard and a pinch of salt. It was a beautiful dough. I favor an all-butter crust myself and use that primarily at Pie Country.
lovefood October 25, 2015
Looking yummy