Pumpkin Pie with Lard Crust

Pie season is upon us and that means pie crust! Butter makes a delicious pie crust, but do you know what makes an even more amazing pie crust? Lard! We are big believers in 'nose-to-tail' whole animal butchery, meaning no part of the animal goes to waste just because it may seem 'gross' in our society. Pig fat is an amazing nutritional resource that can be utilized and cooked down into lard.

Types of Lard

Leaf Lard: is considered to be the highest quality coming from the ‘leaf’ of fat surrounding the kidneys. Best for baking as it is flavorless.

Fatback: is considered second highest in quality and makes up the largest volume of fat off a pig as it is the hard, subcutaneous fat from just under the skin.

Caul Lard: lower in quality, this is the ‘lacy’ looking fat surrounding the digestive organs.

Not just for the flakiest ever pie crust though, lard is great for all general cooking such as pan frying, sautéing, browning and baking, both for sweet and savory. Lard has a high smoke point; it is high in fatty acids such as oleic acid; it has zero trans-fats; full of monounsaturated fats {MUFAs} and if it comes from pasture raised pigs, they have spent a lot of time in the sunshine which translates to high levels of Vitamin D {10,000 IU/tbsp}. I do recommend that you do find a high quality lard source- pastured pigs, humane conditions and untreated. Some commercialized lard can often be hydrogenated, bleached, deodorized and have additives. Even better, having your own fat to render, either from your own pigs or sourcing from your local hog farmers or butchers. As always, know your food!

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