Babe gives paws down to our first full batch of homemade lard (lower left) . . . He went in full throttle but recoiled once he had a taste. Cruelty to animals?
"My advice would be to check out Fannie Farmer," counsels our pie-crust consultant, Mother of All Pastries and Keeper of the Secret Recipes. Which we did, and how sweet it is. "Perfect pastry is a triumph . . . It is satisfying to have a ball of pastry in the refrigerator, ready for hurry-up desserts, cocktail snacks and meat or chicken pies," counsels Fannie:
Measure accurately until you can judge by the "feel." Work very quickly and with a light touch. Sift into a mixing bowl
2 cups pastry flour or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Add 2/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard or 1/3 cup lard and 1/3 cup butter. [YES!!!]
Mix (cut in) with a pastry blender, blending fork or two knives (one in each hand) until the mixture is in even bits about the size of peas. (Old-fashioned cooks use their fingers and work very quickly so that the shortening does not soften.)
Put in a cup 1/3 cup ice water
Sprinkle it over the flour by tablespoonfuls, stirring it in with a fork until just enough has been added so that you can pat the dough lightly into a ball. Handle the dough as little as possible and do not knead it.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and roll and chill it. Enough for a 9-inch two-crust pie or a one-crust pie and some tarts.
It took hours, running back and forth between computer and stove when the timer went off every 10 minutes, and now we are wicked proud of our totally awesome mound of pure, unhydrogenated lard. Tomorrow the
Some tarts? Yes! Girls just wanna have fun. We've got the lard (above photo) in the larder. A pie -- either apple or pumpkin -- is in the offing. Words and pictures and calorie counts to come.
Update: Pajamas Media links.