This Pie Pastry Will Outshine Every Single Recipe You’ve EVER Tried

Was This Your Grandmother’s Secret, Too?

I truly wonder if my grandma was using this same trick to make her famous pie pastry! She made all kinds of pies, and even though people loved the different fillings and flavors, they never stopped asking about the amazingly delicious, flaky crust.

Grandma learned to cook at a very young age and she made the most amazing things out of simple ingredients. When someone would ask for a recipe for one of her incredible dishes, she would just shrug and laugh and say “Oh, I just threw in whatever I had at hand!”

She did not have recipes written down; she either knew them by heart or simply made something she had never tried before, based on what she knew about similar dishes. So we never got the recipe for her pie pastry, and that saddens me.

Fortunately, a couple of years ago one of my neighbors gave me this one, and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s the closest thing to grandma’s pie crust that I’ve come across. And you won’t believe what the secret ingredient is!


Quick Tip: You’ll make a killer meat pie using this pastry recipe, but it works well for sweet pies, too.



No. Vodka is used in place of vinegar. It helps keep the crust flakey. Using an almond amaretto (which is a sugar based) low alcohol liquor will ruin the crust by increasing the sugar and adding an unwante overlay of flavor. If you are looking for a little almond flavor, try a 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

leaf lard is the fat around the pig kidneys. When you buy lard at the store, Tenderflake, it says leaf lard right on it. Unfortunately, it is hydrogenated, but it’s the best there is commercially. For real lard, you have to get the fat and render it yourself.

i,too would like to know about the “leaf lard”.i am 81 yrs old, my Grandma,Mom,and I did lots of baking and i have NEVER EVER heard of leaf lard. Did it not occur to you that many have not heard of it either?

You are right, not a brand name. We used to butcher our own hogs. Fatback and jowl fat made regular lard. Leaf lard, the fat enclosed within the peritoneum, or abdominal cavity, does not have any muscle attached to it. It is a little harder to harvest but is a clean, whiter lard, with practically no taste, and doesn’t get rancid as quickly. It is rendered out the same way. We always put it into a separate pan. However some people just put it all in a kettle together. I always liked the leaf lard for baking.

Raising and butchering pigs you’d know what leaf lard was. Can only get it from growers, never from a store. It is NOT a brand name.

Shortening is not the same as lard, and there is a big difference in how pastry turns out when making pie crust with lard as compared to shortening. The old family recipe I use is for 1lb of lard, 5 cups pastry flour, I egg, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tbsp.vinegar, and 3/4 cup of water, which you add slowly and work the pie crust until it’s perfect for rolling, so the liquid is ‘approximate. This recipe is called ‘can’t fail’ pie crust, and it will make 4- 8 inch pies, with some left over for spreading butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to make pastry roll ups. Or you can make one pie, and freeze the rest in batches that will each make one pie, or freeze the rest in one big batch to make more pies, when you thaw it out in the future. I would wrap them in individual packages for one pie, and put it a freezer bag and freeze for future use.

p.s. Gently mix the egg into the water, with the vinegar, and use that as the liquid for your pie crust. Add slowly till you have enough to work the pie crust properly. You are also going to chop your lard into the 5 cups of flour (pre-sifted before measuring the 5 cups) and chop until it’s coarse and grainy. When rolling out, use just enough flour so the pastry doesn’t stick to the counter, and if your pastry is ‘sticky’ you will need to slowly add more flour until it’s the right texture for rolling out.

handed down from mom from her mom and to me the best has an egg, and vinegar and milk to one cup level the very best and always use cold lard

I’ve used that recipe and it will keep for weeks in the fridge. I think it is similar to the Pillsbury refrigerated crust but you have more control over it.

Norma I think your recipe is the same as mine and i got it from an elderly lady who always made the pies for her church bazzar it has never failed me

I have the same recipe it came from a lady who made the pies for her church bazzar it has never failed me

Actually the original recipe called for a cup of vodka. You put 1/4 of it in the mix and the other 3/4 in the chef. With that recipe, anything tastes really good!

It isn’t a waste because it actually improves the flakiness since alcohol absorbs faster than water. You can substitute Crisco for the lard and it is not quite as “greasy” tasting as using lard…Mind you, lard is a saturated fat as opposed to Crisco which is unsaturated. My recipe is very similar to this one , but the grease ratio is different–1 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 butter flavored crisco.

Adding vinegar to milk is an alternative to buttermilk. It sours the milk and gives that nice tangy flavor to our recipes.

My mother in law, a baker’s daughter, always used cold Crisco, if lard doesn’t appeal to you. Her crust was the flakiest I ever tasted, and renowned for decades.

You can sometimes buy leaf lard in a meat market; I found mine at the Farmer’s market, sold by a butcher. I rendered it (melted it down) myself in my slow cooker-took about 5-6 hours, the scooped the ‘crispins’ out with a slotted spoon and froze them. This was pure lard (fat) from around the kidneys of a pig-the best lard ever!! Once rendered, you can pour it into mason jars, store in the fridge or freezer.

Leaf lard is not a brand. It is pig fat. It has to be rendered before you use it. I rendered it in a slow cooker. It took around 8 hours. And it must be clear before you can use it for pastry. There was enough, with butter, to make 2 two-crust pies. Unless you are eating two pies every week, use butter and.Crisco. And, i guess, if you are eating two pies a week, visit your favorite cardiologist.

This recipe doesn’t use milk I have never used a crust recipe that requires milk. I use ice water, cold lard crisco right out of the fridge and cold butter sliced in small pieces the lard small spoons fulls first I work the lard into the flour n salt and then I work the butter into that mixture then small amounts of ice water until I can get it to for a ball. I then use the ball I formed to roll out and make the pie crust. I’m not a very patient to wait this out. A lot of the time I buy the already rolled out pie crust even the store brand name will work. Just telling the truth a lot more than a lot of people on here will do.

I’m 80 years young and my mother used a TLBS of vinegar in her crust and it was absolutely the flakiest crust you have ever eaten. Melt in your mouth. Not everyone has liquor in their house. Just thought I would let you know..

my grandma made the most awesome pastry using leaf lard She always got it fresh on butchering day. and she never rendered it

Wow I’m so hungry for pie. My grannie always used lard or crisco and hers is the only pie crust I’d eat. So flacky you could just sit there and it would melt in your mouth. I miss her and her pies. Thank all of you for your great ideas. Someone told ma cold 7 up works too. But not sprite.

I’m so confuse to all different comments. I just want a pie crust I can use. Why does the recipe have to be so difficult. Wishing my grandma would have shown us to bake or cook. We weren’t that lucky. I am trying to show my granddaughter how to bake. All by recipes since I don’t know any other way. So far so good. Printing and saving them. Thank You..

The vodka in pie crust evaperates, therefore there is less liquid in the crust and makes a very flaky crust. My mother used several types of fat in her crust, depending on what kind of pie she was making. Her pie crusts were always crisp, flaky, and delicious. I have yet to make a crust as good as hers and I am 76. When our mothers and grandmother’s baked, the things were less processed than they are now. Kind of like the old days everything tasted better, too bad!

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