Cherry Hand Pies

My Mother and my Grandmothers all made pies with lard and I did to when I was a girl at home.  I remember we all went to my Grandparents house, always in the winter time and they butchered.  After the lard was rendered we brought home a large 10 gallon metal bucket for the coming years use.  We fried, baked, cooked everything with it.

I have been thinking about lard because it is not artificial, not full of preservatives if you buy it at a slaughter house or from a processor.  When I looked at the grocery there were preservatives.  So. last week when I drove up to Haubstadt to Joe Engelbrecht's wonderful orchard I went on to Dewig's Meat Processing and Market.  They had lard without any preservatives so I purchased a 4 pound pail.
There would be the residue of any chemicals the animal has been given.  I tell myself since this is small town America it will not be as much because it is locally raised, maybe I am deluded but hopeful.

I have this ongoing battle with myself about fake versus real and chemicals versus natural.

Well anyway, I made pastry for these pies using lard just to see and remember the difference.

Ingredients for Pie Crusts:

4 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
1 2/3 c. cold lard
1/2 C. ice water
1 beaten egg
1 T. white vinegar

This is a adaptation of the pie crusts I usually bake but I used lard instead.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Cut in the lard with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal.

Using a smaller bowl beat the water .egg.and vinegar together.  Form a well in the center of the flour and add the wet ingredients mixing with a fork until it forms a rough ball of dough.  Turn unto a well floured work surface and divide into 4 parts and pat each into a disk.  Wrap each disk and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Freeze if you want to keep it longer.

Cherry Pie Filling:

2 C. pie cherries
3/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 T. tapioca
1/4 t. almond extract
1 T. butter
sugar for sprinkling

Mix the cherries, sugar, tapioca, and almond flavor together in a bowl and let stand 10-15 minutes before using.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place parchment or Silpat mats on baking sheets and set aside.  Roll the pastry as for a pie and cut 3 1/2" squares and place 9 of them on the prepared sheets.

Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each square.  Roll another portion of the pastry and cut another 9 squares.   Cut the center of each square for the steam to escape.  Place the second square atop the first to cover the filling.  Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar for a pretty glisten.  Bake 15 minutes.  Cool on a rack and serve.  Yield 9 pies.


Keeper of the Past said...

The pies look so good. I too remember grandma's big black kettle that hung over the fire and they rendered the lard. We also used lard until just a few years ago when they started telling everyone to use oleo and I am back to butter only and I am also thinking about having lard rendered when we have a steer butched...I know what has went into him.

Diane Cosby said...

The pie and the crust was just delicious and so I may start using it (lard) more. You just don't know any more. You are so fortunate to be able to raise your own livestock. Like you say, at least you know what went in your own animals.

Sue said...

I use lard; from my brother-in-laws butchering. We don't use much, but my husband loves biscuits and pie crust made with it. The biscuits are crisp on the outside, not like with shortening.
I think you will like using it again.