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Perfect Pie Pastry

Yield: Yields two 9-inch pie crusts.

For a truly southern pie, lard is a must: it gives you the same flakiness as shortening but also adds a richness of flavor that shortening lacks. If you’re a vegetarian, substitute vegetable shortening for the lard, and just don’t tell your southern friends. This recipe will give you dough for two pies crusts but you’ll need only one for the Buttermilk Pie; freeze one disk of dough for future use.


  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) cold lard, cut into pieces
  • 1-1/2 oz. (3 Tbs.) cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1-1/2 to 2 Tbs. ice water

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 160
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 8
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 150
  • Carbohydrates (g): 19
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 3


  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using just your fingertips, crumble the butter, lard, and shortening together with the flour, pinching until the mixture looks coarse and crumbly, with the butter no larger than pea-size. Dribble in 1 Tbs. of the water, mixing the dough lightly with a fork. Add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, until the dough holds together (pinch a piece between your fingers to test); you may not need all the water.
  • Divide the dough and gently press each half into a disk with your hands. Refrigerate one disk at least 30 minutes before rolling it out; freeze the other disk for future use.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 14-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie pan and trim all but 1/2 inch of the overhang, tucking the excess under and crimping the edge. Line the dough with two sheets of foil to cover the crust and weight it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the weights and the foil and bake until the crust is golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. If the crust bubbles, gently push the bubbles down with the back of a spoon.


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