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Lard pie crust

(Food styling/Sheryl Julian; Photo by Yoon Byun/Globe Staff)
July 15, 2009

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Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold lard
1/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
1 recipe mixed blueberry filling (see recipe)
1 tablespoon milk (for brushing)
1 tablespoon sugar (for sprinkling)
1. In a bowl, stir the flour and salt to mix them.

2. Add the lard and with a blunt knife, cut the lard into small pieces. With 2 blunt knives or a pastry blender, work the lard into the flour until it forms tiny crumbs.

3. In another bowl, mix the water and vinegar. Sprinkle the water mixture over the flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to cut the liquid into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms large moist clumps.

4. Turn them out onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Divide the dough in half so one piece is slightly larger than the other. Shape each into a flat round cake. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a deep 9-inch pie pan. Set it on a rimmed baking sheet.

6. On a floured counter, roll the larger piece of dough to round slightly larger than the dish. Lift it onto the rolling pin, and ease the dough into the pie pan. Use scissors to trim the excess around the edges. There should be a 1/2-inch overhang. Turn the overhang under to form a hem all around.

7. Fill the pie with berries; refrigerate.

8. On a floured counter, roll out the second round of dough. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it onto the filling. Tuck the edges of the dough all around to make them even with the bottom edge. With your fingers, crimp the edges. Or press them evenly all around with a fork. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. With a paring knife, make 5 vent holes.

9. Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbling through the vents and the crust is golden. (If the crust seems too brown, turn the oven down to 375 degrees for the last 15 minutes.) Devra First