Momma's pastry is the 'No-Fail Pastry' from the Tenderflake Lard box... the recipe that has been there forever. It makes 3 double-crust pies...
Tenderflake No-Fail Pastry
Adapted from the Tenderflake Lard box
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 pound Tenderflake lard
1 tbsp vinegar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
water added to egg and vinegar to make 1 cup
Cut the lard into pieces. This lard was room temperature, but Momma says she usually has it cold... it made no difference, trust me!
Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and cut in the lard using a pastry cutter until you get uneven, smallish clumps, just like the photo above. If some bits are bigger, that's okay says Momma.
Add in the liquid all at once, by pouring it around the bowl. This scared the crap out of me... what if it's too much? What if it makes too much gluten? Momma tells me I worry too much.
Momma thinks that the dough still needs more moisture and gets me to add a few drops more, which again, makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Finally, the dough comes together to Momma's satisfaction, and she has handled it a gazillion times more than I ever do, which may explain why I always have dry, crumbly pastry when it comes time to roll.
Momma divides the dough into six parts (and scoffs at me when I offer up my food scale). We wrap up two balls and put them in the fridge, because we are only making two pies.
Momma starts rolling, which I swear, I could have done... this dough was actually rollable.
She placed the dough in the pie plate, and I got to work with the filling... Momma-style.
You (over) fill your pie crust with peeled and sliced Gravenstein apples. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon (I used Epicure's Apple Pie Spice), a squeeze of lemon juice and a few dabs of butter.
Roll the top crust over, seal the edges and crimp. Momma's a minimalist when it comes to the edges, so I didn't have much dough left to work with. We did peel too many apples though, and since we had some pastry scraps I made a small pie in a loaf pan that just had the top crust (and a more, ahem, fluted edge). Make sure to cut some slits in the pie for the steam to escape and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45 additional minutes.
Tonight I used the remaining two balls of dough in the fridge and made my Apple-Raspberry Pie... my favourite! Momma, thanks for the lessons and the test will come tomorrow when I attempt this, as Chelsea would say proudly "All by myself!"