Pie Dough

Pie Dough adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
heavy pinch of fine salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup lard (duck or goose preferably), chilled
1/4 – 1/3 cup ice cold water

I often use the food processor for this, but you could easily do this by hand.  Process (or whisk) the dry ingredients together.  Add chilled butter and lard.

Process (or cut with a pastry cutter) until the pieces are about the size of peas.

It’s ok and even desirable for the pieces to be different sizes.  The unevenness results in better texture in the end, so be sure not to over process.  Do not blend the butter farther than pea size.

Start pouring in the water into spout with one hand and keeping the pulse button depressed with the other hand until it starts to come into a ball. Then stop. This should take less than 30 seconds.

Go no further.  Thin, thin ice you’re treading here.  The more you work your dough, the tougher and less enjoyable it gets.

Turn the shaggy dough out of the food processor and form it gently and quickly into a ball with your hands.

If you’re doing this by hand, add the water all in one shot and start working it quickly in by hand folding the dough on top of itself over and over to develop layers just until it takes all the water and you can form the more or less cohesive mass into a ball with your hands.

Cut this ball into two pieces and flatten each piece into a disc.

This is two pie crusts – a bottom and a top crust for a double crusted pie like apple or two pumpkin pies waiting to happen.  Will keep in the fridge for about 3 days, will keep in the freezer for about 6 weeks.

Chill the dough.  Do not skip this step. Two hours chill time is ideal, but you can pop it into the freezer for 20 minutes if you’re in a hurry.

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