I’ve been obsessed with pie for some time now. In fact, you may not know this, but my first job at the young age of 15 was working at Marie Callender’s. And so the obsession began!
A few months back I visited Montana to attend the Paws Up Upper Crust Pie Camp, learning from some of the best how to make the perfect lattice top pies, crostatas and more in the middle of Big Sky Country. The crust that I learned to make from Kate McDermott of the Art of Pie was so delightfully flaky that I had to share the recipe — and video —with you here. You can check out some of Kate’s top pie baking tips in the video, and get the full recipe by reading on.
2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
8 Tbs of Kerrygold or other unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces (I also love Anchor from New Zealand. That country knows dairy!)
8 Tbs leaf lard
6-8 Tbs of ice water (This is an average but sometimes the dough takes more.)
1/2 tsp salt
Put all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.With clean hands, blend the mixture together until it looks like coarse meal with some lumps in it that looks like cracker crumbs, peas, and almonds. The lumps make flakey pies.Sprinkle ice water over mixture and stir lightly with a fork.
Squeeze a handful of dough together. Mix in a bit more water if it doesn’t keep together. Add water in very small amounts, as you don’t want gummy dough.
Divide the dough in half and make two chubby disks about 5 inches across.Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. Take out one disk and put it on a well-floured board, pastry cloth, parchment paper or plastic wrap. Sprinkle some flour onto the top of the disk. Thump the disk with your rolling pin several times.
Turn it over and thump the other side.
Sprinkle more flour onto the top of the crust if needed to keep the pin from sticking and roll the crust out from the center in all directions. When it is an inch or so larger than your pie pan, brush off the extra flour on both sides. Fold the dough over the top of the pin and lay it in the pie pan carefully. Don’t worry if the crust needs to be patched together; just paint a little water where it needs to be patched and “glue” on the patch piece. Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other disk.
This recipe will make one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies for 9″ pie pans. Leaf lard is available at some butcher shops, farmers markets and also by mail-order. *If you prefer an all-butter crust, use about 14 Tablespoons of Kerrygold or other salted or unsalted butter for your total fat. It will take about 5-7 minutes to put the dough together. Minimum chill time is 20 minutes but 1-2 hours is great. After chilling, dough discs may be frozen for up to 1 month.