Rendering Lard, Lard Pie Dough, & Summer Three Berry Streusel Pie

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Rendering Lard
Makes about one quart
1 to 1 ¼ pounds pastured lard*
½ cup water
One heavy-bottomed soup pot such as Le Creuset
  1. With a sharp knife, trim any lean or bloody spots and chop the fat into 1-inch cubes of equal size.
  2. Add the fat and water to your pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring often until the fat has melted.
  3. Lower the flame and cook 45 minutes or so. The water will evaporate, the fat will begin to melt and the cracklings – little bits of browned fat – will begin to float to the surface of the pot. Continue to gently stir throughout and keep lowering the flame as needed. When all the cracklings are brown and floating, strain them with a fine sieve onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. When the cracklings have been removed and the fat is melted and clear, turn off the stove and cool slightly.
  5. Carefully strain the fat through a fine sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth, into a sturdy bowl or pot. Be very careful as the fat is very hot. Do not transfer it into the clean pot on the stove but rather in the sink. Oil on a stove will easily catch fire.
  6. Once slightly cool, pour into mason jars or another container. Cool completely. Rendered lard will last for months in the fridge.
  7. Use the cracklings in Crackling Bread, with breadcrumbs as a topping, sprinkled over salad or potato salad, etc.
*Leaf lard is best for baking as it has a cleaner flavor. Lard is perfect for frying meats, etc.
Lard Pie Dough
Makes one 9-inch pie. Double for a two crust pie.

 

½ cups flour
½ cup cold rendered leaf lard*
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar (for a sweet pie, optional)
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp. white vinegar
  1. In a small bowl, mix the water and vinegar which helps to keep the gluten from developing and makes a tender crust.
  2. Mix one cup of the flour, salt and sugar, if using, together lightly in a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the lard in chunks and cut into the flour using a pastry cutter or by pulsing the food processor. The mixture should look like large crumbs and begin to cling together in clumps.
  4. Add the remaining ½ cup of flour and mix lightly or pulse the processor two or three times. Do not over mix this flour. At this point, if using a food processor, remove the flour/fat mixture to a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the water over the dough and with hands or a wooden spoon, mix the dough just until the dough holds together. Loosely form it into a disk, wrap in wax paper, and chill for one hour or more.
*You can also use half unsalted butter and half lard which makes a sturdier dough for things like slab pies, tarts or hand pies.
Summer Three Berry Streusel Pie
Makes One 9-inch pie
Berry pie is a summer tradition and has to be made at least once during berry season. If you use ripe organic or homegrown berries, cut the sugar to one cup or less. Some sugar is needed however, to create a syrupy sauce. Choose traditional or granola streusel.
One recipe single crust pie dough (see Lard Pie Dough Recipe)
6 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup raspberries or blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 ½ cups (or less) sugar
5 Tbls quick cook tapioca
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Streusel Topping
2 cups flour of choice
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granola
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 melted butter or coconut oil
  1. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow the disc to set on the counter for 10 minutes.
  2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to a 15-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Trim dough overhang to one inch.
  3. Fold the overhang under and crimp decoratively, forming a high-standing rim.
  4. Freeze crust 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375˚f.
  6. In a bowl large enough for the fruit, mix the topping ingredients loosely and set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, mix berry filling ingredients and set aside.
  8. Remove crust from the freezer and spoon the filling into crust.
  9. Crumble topping evenly over filling.
  10. Bake until the filling is bubbling and clear rather than opaque and the topping is golden brown, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil if topping browns too quickly.
  11. Transfer pie to rack and cool at least 3 hours.

 


About the Chef

Barbie Aknin of Community Cuisine has provided cooking instruction in corporate settings, cooking schools, private events, and in her own home for more than twenty years.

Community Cuisine brings people together in the kitchen to cook, to learn, and to celebrate. We teach the art, technique, and value of cooking by sharing wisdom from culinary traditions past and present. All classes incorporate professional cooking methodology that offers our students the tools they need to tackle any type of cuisine or diet.

To learn more about Community Cuisine, visit www.communitycuisine.com

 

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