Happy to share! <3 Always glad to see people interested in the NE tradition of pie baking.
If you’ve never rendered leaf lard, here’s instructions on how to do it. It looks more daunting than it actually is–if you WFH, it’s as simple as cutting it into bite sized pieces, taking off any meat chunks, and covering the pot with water. Then just cook it low and slow all day until the water is evaporated and there’s nothing but cracklings left. (I usually cover the pot once the water is evaporated out to prevent splatter.) I should also say–Walden’s leaf lard packs make a HUGE amount of lard, so you get a good effort:output ratio. 1 pack made four 24-oz tupperwares of lard (almost a gallon). Make sure you wait 30 mins to an hour before pouring the lard in a container.
My crust recipe for a 9-10" two crust pie is:
-2.5 cups flour
-1/2 cup butter, unsalted (cut back the salt if you use salted butter)
-1/2 cup rendered pork lard
-ice water, which I just add 2-3 tablespoons at a time until it coheres, but it’s usually between 2/3 to 1 cup.
You can get great in-depth pie crust instructions from King Arthur Flour’s website, but here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years:
-Butter is more idiot proof than lard or crisco–butter really resists incorporating into the flour and water, so it guarantees a flakier crust. Conversely, it’s makes the crust harder to work with.
-When you roll your crust, roll out in one direction rather than back and forth, and use the handled-style rolling pin. You can put a lot more force in your strokes that way. It’s hard for me to explain what I mean… I might try to make a gif next time I bake a pie…
-My favorite filling thickener is potato starch. You can use this 1:1 in place of flour. It thickens perfectly clear and doesn’t taste grainy.
-For pumpkin pie, it always tastes better with a fresh pumpkin. This may be confirmation bias.
-Chocolate Pie is similarly a cut above when you use homemade pudding.
here are my favorite pie recipes! It doesn’t let me put more than 2 links in a post, so for all the KAF recipes, you can look them up on King Arthur Flour’s website.
*KAF’s apple pie: I use rum in place of cider. Use the classic recipe, not the “secret” one.
*KAF’s pumpkin pie: I used to hate pumpkin pie until I went with this recipe.
*KAF’s Chocolate Pie: My favorite not-fruit pie.
*Rhubarb Pie: A dying pie flavor, but my husband’s favorite (and my 2nd after Raspberry). Better than strawberry Rhubarb IMHO.
I’ll try to write down what my husband does exactly next time he makes pasties. It’s definitely a “whatever we got in our veggie share” recipe a lot of the time!