Make the best ever pie crust with lard and butter. The result is the light, flaky and buttery pie crust of your dreams. This foolproof lard pie crust recipe uses a good quality leaf lard and butter with an egg & vinegar mixture. It’s simply the best!

Light and flaky lard and butter pie crust is rolled and fluted in a pie pan.

“This recipe is awesome! I have always made Pioneer Woman’s pie crust and they don’t compare. This recipe is definitely more flaky and the tasty. This will be my pie crust recipe I will use forever.”

DENISE

If you love making homemade pies, a flaky pie crust makes all the difference no matter what filling goes into the crust. This light, flaky, and buttery pie crust is always a sure winner.

People use different kinds of fat to make their pie dough – butter, shortening, lard, or even oil. Many use an all-butter option for the buttery flavor but, for a pie crust, I found it lacks flakiness. (But I do like all butter in tarts and galettes.)

Pie dough made with lard and butter is showing small pieces of fat in the dough

I used to make my pie dough with half butter and half shortening to get a flaky texture with some buttery flavor. The result is fine.

Then I discovered lard, especially “Leaf Lard.”

Now I often use half butter and half leaf lard for my pie dough and I couldn’t be any happier with the outcome. I got the light, flaky, and buttery pie crust that I ever dreamed of.

This is a perfect pie crust recipe and I don’t think you can get any better lard pie crust than this one.

What is Leaf Lard?

Leaf lard is rendered leaf fat from near the pig’s kidney and loin. It is known for being lower in saturated fats than butter and higher in monounsaturated fats, which is better for cardiovascular health. Leaf lard is considered the highest grade of lard you can get from any pork fat.

Why “leaf”? Because the mass of fat resembles the shape of a leaf after it’s rendered.

A measuring cup filled with lard and butter sticks are shown on the counter.

Where to find Leaf Lard: You can get leaf lard from your local butcher shops or farmer’s markets. Online stores like Amazon or Etsy also sell bottled leaf lard. I got mine from a place called Fannie & Flo. They have different types of old-fashioned fats.

Fluted pie crust on a yellow pie pan with a rolling is on the silicon mat.

Best Pie Crust Tips

  1. Cold temperature: Cold temperature fats, flour, egg, water (ice water) keeps the pie dough cold and easy to work with.
  2. Pie crust with egg and vinegar: The trick to make pie crust light and flaky on top of lard and butter is using a mixture of egg and vinegar. Egg makes the dough more pliable and easy to roll out. Pie crust with vinegar has been a well kept secret for many avid bakers for a tenderer and flakier pie.
  3. Chill the pie dough before you roll out: Chilling hardens the fat in the dough, and helps maintain its structure as it bakes. It relaxes the dough’s gluten and prevents a tough crust.
  4. Work fast when you roll out the crust: If rolling out takes too long, the fats will start to loosen and the crust will become sticky. You want to work fast as you roll out the dough to maintain the cold temperature.
  5. Keep pie crust chilled: It is recommendable to chill the rolled and fluted crust in a pie pan in the fridge before adding the pie filling. Chilled crust holds its fluted shape better.

Ingredients for Lard and Butter Pie Crust

  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch (optional): Adding a little bit of cornstarch will lighten up the texture of crust. You can leave it out if you prefer heavier crust texture.
  • Salt: A hint of salt balances the flavor.
  • Leaf Lard or Lard: Simply the best fat for making pie crust. Use the best quality you can find.
  • Butter (unsalted): Butter adds a taste that lard alone can not provide.
  • Egg: helps pie dough to be more pliable and easy to roll out. It also makes the crust to be soft.
  • Vinegar: prevents the gluten from forming when mixing the dough together, which helps to create a more flaky crust.
  • Water: Use ice water. Water moistens the flour and bind the pie dough together. Mix with egg and vinegar before adding to the dough mixture. Too much water makes the dough sticky and shrinks the crust when baked. Too little water will cause your pastry to crack and fall apart during rolling and shaping.
Moistened pie dough is dumped on a working surface.

How to make flaky pie crust with lard and butter

Step 1: Prepare your fat

  • Before you start, the lard and butter should be chilled and very cold. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Scoop up the leaf lard by the tablespoonful or measure into 1/2 cup first, then scoop out.

Step 2: Cut in the Fat

  • Whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt in a mixing bow. Add the chunks of leaf lard and butter pieces.
  • Cut the fats in the flour using dough scrapers or a pastry blender until you get coarse crumbs.
  • When you press the a small portion of mixture together with your fingers, it should hold the shape without falling apart.

Step 3: Add the Liquid (Egg + Vinegar + Water)

  • Crack an egg in a glass measuring cup (2 cup size), and add vinegar. Pour cold ice water to measure the liquid to reach 2/3 cup amount. Beat well.
  • Drizzle about 1/2 cup of liquid around the crumb mixture and stir gently with a fork. Add more liquid on the dry spots in small amounts. You might not need the entire liquid – use just enough to moisten the mixture slightly.
  • When the dough mixture is moistened without being too sticky or dry, dump it on a lightly floured surface.

Step 4: Gather and Shape the Dough

  • When the dough mixture is moistened without being too sticky or dry, dump it on a lightly floured surface.
  • Gather up the dough.
  • Divide the dough in half. (If I am making a double crust pie, I usually make the bottom crust dough to be slightly larger than the top crust portion)
  • Form each dough half into a disk and wrap with a piece of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour before you roll out.

Step 5: Rolling Out the Pie Dough

  • Whack the pie dough with a rolling pin a few times if the dough seems too hard.
  • Dust the surface with a little flour and start rolling the dough from the center out and rotating a quarter turn. Run your fingers under the dough to loosen it. Dust more flour if the dough feels sticking to the surface, but use as little as possible.
  • Roll out into a circle until you get about 13-inchs in diameter. This will fit to a standard 9 or 9 1/2 inch pie pan.

Step 6: Fluting the Edge of Pie Crust

  • Transfer the pastry to fit into a pan, gently nudging it down the sides of the pan.
  • Lift up the overhanging dough and fold it under.
  • Create the flute by using your thumb and forefinger to make a V pattern.
  • Cover the pie shell with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

How to par-bake (blind bake) pie crust

Line the bottom of the crust with foil or parchment paper, filling with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Then bake the pie crust at 375˚F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the weights and let the crust cool until ready to use.

The lard and butter pie crust is rolled and fluted in a yellow pie pan.

Storage and Freezing Tips

For pie dough

You can make the pie dough ahead of time and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap each dough with plastic wrap and put them in a zip bag.

To use, thaw your frozen pie dough in the refrigerator overnight before using. Then roll it out with rolling pan and use as a pie crust.

For pie crust

Roll out the pie crust and form it on a pie pan. Put the whole thing (both pie crust and pie pan) in a large freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.

To use, thaw your frozen pie crust in a pan in the refrigerator overnight before using. Or take it out right before you add filling, and bake it a few minutes longer than recipe suggests.

Lard and Butter Pie Crust Recipe Video (Full Version)

Pies using this pie crust

Are you a pie lover? Check out my pie recipes for awesome pie ideas. Here are a few pies that you can use this pie crust recipe with.

ight and flaky pie crust is made with leaf lard and butter

Light and Flaky Pie Crust with Lard and Butter

Make the light, flaky, and buttery pie crust with lard and butter. This foolproof lard pie crust recipe uses a good quality lard (leaf lard) and cold butter with a vinegar & egg mixture. The recipe makes double crusts.
5 from 5 ratings

Ingredients

  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp leaf lard , or lard, chilled
  • 8 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ice cold water

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt in a mixing bow. Add the chunks of leaf lard and butter pieces.
  • Cut the fats in the flour using dough scrapers or a pastry blender until you get coarse crumbs. When you press the a small portion of mixture together with your fingers, it should hold the shape without falling apart.
  • Crack an egg in a glass measuring cup (2 cup size), and add vinegar. Pour cold water to measure the liquid to reach 2/3 cup amount. Beat well.
  • Drizzle about 1/2 cup of liquid around the crumb mixture and stir gently with a fork. Add more liquid on the dry spots in small amounts. You might not need the entire liquid – use just enough to moisten the mixture slightly.
  • When the dough mixture is moistened without being too sticky or dry, dump it on a lightly floured surface. Gather up the dough. Divide the dough in half. (If I am making a double crust pie, I usually make the bottom crust dough to be slightly larger than the top crust portion)
  • Form each dough half into a disk and wrap with a piece of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour before you roll out.

Rolling out and fluting pie crust

  • Whack the pie dough with a rolling pin a few times if the dough seems too hard. Dust the surface with a little flour and start rolling the dough from the center out and rotating a quarter turn. Run your fingers under the dough to loosen it. Dust more flour if the dough feels sticking to the surface, but use as little as possible.
  • Roll out into a circle until you get about 13-inchs in diameter. This will fit to a standard 9 or 9 1/2 inch pie pan.
  • Transfer the pastry to fit into a pan, gently nudging it down the sides of the pan. Lift up the overhanging dough and fold it under. Create the flute by using your thumb and forefinger to make a V pattern. Cover the pie shell with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
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