Makes enough dough for five 9-inch single crust pies
5 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 lb cold lard, cubed into 1-inch pieces (see note)
1 egg, whisked
1 Tbsp vinegar
Put the egg into a measuring cup, and whisk until mixed. Add the vinegar and enough cold water to make 1 cup. Set aside.
Measure flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together to combine. If your brown sugar is lumpy, it’s best to sift it into the bowl to remove any lumps.
Cut lard into small pieces, and add to bowl. Cut the lard into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender. If using your fingers, continue to rub it in between your thumb and fingers until the lard has been worked into the flour and is the consistency of coarse oatmeal.
If you have a large food processor, it’s possible to use it for this step, pulsing until all the lard is incorporated into the flour mixture. However, I prefer to finish the last stage by hand in a large bowl, as it’s easier to control the amount of liquid needed when you do it manually.
Slowly pour in ¾ cup of the egg/water/vinegar mixture and stir with a fork until all the dough is combined and moistened. Take a golf-ball-sized amount of dough in your hands and lightly press it together. If it’s not holding together, continue to add liquid, one tablespoon at a time, and gently mix with a fork. You only want to add enough mixture until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough. Humidity, ingredient temperature and air temperature will all affect the amount of liquid you need.
Lightly flour the counter and turn the dough out onto the counter. Gently pull it together to form a ball.
Divide into five pieces, flattening each piece into a round disk with the heel of your hand, about 2 inches thick. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. If baking right away, it’s preferable to let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the fridge before rolling.
The discs can be refrigerated for a few days or freeze them for up to 12 months. Place the plastic-wrapped disks into a freezer bag. Allow the disc to thaw in the refrigerator before rolling.
To blind bake crust:
Heat your oven to 400. Roll your dough out to fit a 9-inch pie plate.
Ease it into the pie pan without stretching, allowing some dough to hang over the edges. Evenly trim edges. Line it with aluminum foil, pressing it against the edges. Bake for 10 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake until golden, about another 10 minutes.
if you prefer a more buttery-tasting pie crust, you can substitute up to ½ of the total fat with unsalted butter.