I do 50/50 butter/lard in my pie crust. 100% lard would might be even better but what I do works very well. After putting the rolled out dough in the pans and popping little holes in the crust with a fork I brush on milk and then refrigerate another half hour, give or take, before putting the filing in. I try to keep the crust cold before putting the pie into the oven.
Most of the pies I make are “pumpkin” pie using fully ripe home-grown butternut squash instead of sugar pumpkins or, God forbid, canned pumpkin.
…and as I type,there is a canned-pumpkin pie in the oven!
Perhaps I can be forgiven as I used a bit of star anise in the spices.
I was dubious about a recent pie shown in the weekly food section of the local newspaper: A bacon strip lattice crust. The bacon did not look at all crispy and would be hard to cut or to eat the slice like a more typical pie.
And while I’ll acknowledge the superiority of using pumpkins or squash instead of buying the can … I bought the can - and I use the recipe on the side.
It’s what you’re used to, I guess, and I got used to canned pumpkin when we made hundreds of them in the bakery every holiday. I did use butternut squash one year for ourselves and it was pretty good, but I didn’t strain the cooked squash and I wish I had.
A lot of people prefer the 50/50 mix, or even 100% lard, and it true that they make tender, flavorful crusts. But I’m a flake-freak, and I love the flavor of butter, so that’s my go to.
I like to make a “graham cracker”-like crust from ginger snap cookies for my “pumpkin” pies. I’m lazy and just buy packaged cookies from the store but maybe one day I’ll do the whole thing from scratch. We don’t have kids so I’m not in the habit of baking goodies all the time like my mom and grandma were! Lol
I grow “Bitterroot” buttercups and “Sonca” butternuts every year for roasting, pie, and ravioli. I’m always sad when I’ve used them all up. This year some got dropped during our move and spoiled early from the bruises, which means I won’t have enough to get us through Christmas like I usually do!
I’m interested in the “Bitterroot” buttercups. Here in western Montana (and I suppose other parts of the west) the bitterroot plant, lewisa rediviva, has great cultural and historical relevance. The Salish/Kootenai tribes, and I imagine many others, used the root as a major starch source. They gathered the roots late in the summer, roasted them in pits “low and slow” ; then they ground them into flour, if I’m remembering well. As is done with names, we have the Bitterroot River, Valley, and Mountains, and uncounted spinoffs. It’s usually spelled without the space, “Bitterroot”, sometimes with, “Bitter Root”, but should always have two r’s. When Lewis and Clark came through Lewis collected the roots and took them back when the expedition headed home. Months later the roots were planted and grew, hence the “rediviva”, or revived, part of the name.
They are lovely blooms. The blossom and the leaves always appear separately. Sometimes you will come across meadows and suddenly realize that all around you are these delightful little flowers - makes you careful where you step!
@marknmt Thanks for sharing! The variety is indeed named for the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. I acquired the seeds from Uprising Seeds based in OR. They produced beautifully in our droughty weather this year, so I think it must be well selected for the local climate – in fact, it’s the happiest I’ve seen the vines in all the years I’ve grown it, lol. In the past I’ve considered growing a different variety that might handle the wet summers better, but I do like how these taste.
The bitterroot plant reminds me a little of bloodroot.
Well, there’s an awful lot of good information on pie crusts in this thread. And the link I gave in the first post includes excellent step by step instructions.That’s if you care to try again, of course.