This is not my own recipe. It comes from a product available in Canada called "Tenderflake Lard". Yes indeed. Lard. Not shortening. Lard is available in the States but under different brand names. It looks somewhat like shortening and has a similar consistancy and is stark white in colour. Do not substitute the lard in this recipe for shortening as I don't know how it will come out. If you don't want to purchase lard then I suggest you find a recipe for pie crust made with shortening or purchase premade crusts.

This particular recipe makes the best and the flakiest pastery I've ever tried. And it comes out perfect every time. Use this and you will get nothing but compliments on your pastry. This recipes stores and freezes well.

5 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 lb of Tenderflake Lard
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten

- Mix together the flour and salt

- cut in Tenderflake Lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal or peas.

- In a 1 cup measure, combine the vinegar and egg. Add water to make the 1 cup measure full. Gradually stir liquid into the flour/lard. Add only enough liquid to make dough cling together. You will probably have some liquid left over. You can use your pastry blender or knives to mix the liquid in well.

- Gather this into a ball and divide it into 4 portions. Be sure to cover whatever you are not using at the moment with saran wrap to keep from drying out.

Roll out each portion as you need it on a lightly floured surface. *NOTE* for pie shell you obviously just roll out one shell at a time. Make it bigger than the pie plate so there is plenty to edge the pan with. If you are making tarts, I use the lid of a one pound margarine tub to use as a cutter. Perfect size for muffin tins which you will probably make your tarts in :-)

- once rolled out, transfer to a pie plate. The easiest way to do this is to roll the dough a bit on your rolling pin (to about the half way mark) then lift it on the pin, put the rolling pin at the halfway mark on the pie plate and unroll. Lifting it and depositing it this way makes for less opportunity for any crust to tear.

- trim off the excess. Leave about a 1/2 inch over the edge for a pie. Then flute the edges (you can just use a fork pressed into the edges to do this) and then bake this according to your recipe. *NOTE* For a prebaked pie shell like for lemon meringue simply bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch it though. For these prebaked shells be sure to fork it all over the bottom with the fork prongs. This will help keep the pastry from rising in the bottom and getting air bubbles in it.

This recipe will yield 3 nine inch double crust pies (6 pie shells) or a wack of tart shells.

To keep extra dough if leftovers simply wrap it in saran wrap and it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge or you can freeze this dough!

Click for "Butter Tarts"

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