making pie crusts with lard


photo courtesy of Kate McDermott

Kate McDermott is a wonder. A wonder, I tell you. She’s compassionate, quirky (that’s a compliment for both of us), fascinated by life, and a wonderful friend.

She also happens to make incredible pies. Not just any pies, but some of the best pies around.

Don’t believe us? Look at these quotes (from Kate’s website, Art of the Pie):

“I’ve been baking pies my entire life, but making them with Kate was a liberating experience. With pioneer spirit she throws the textbook out the window and comes up with absolutely perfect pie crust filled with fruit that actually sings to you, telling you when it’s ready to be removed from the oven. Great fun and great food.” —Ruth Reichl, Editor in Chief, Gourmet Magazine

“I can’t get over the crust–it’s certainly the best one we’ve ever tested in the kitchen. It will also be the one I use at home from now on!” —Liz Pearson, Kitchen Director, Saveur Magazine

”The crust came out AMAZING. The flake was perfect. No cookbook can ever replicate the experience of learning to do something by hand.” —Jonathan Kauffman, Food Editor, Seattle Weekly

“Crumbly, sweet, and infinitely delicious, this was The World’s Best Pie.” —Eagranie Yuh, The Well-Tempered Chocolatier

Anyone who makes pies would love raves like that.

In fact, one of Kate’s pies was photographed for the cover of Saveur magazine, and her recipe for blackberry pie was inside. (We made a blackberry pie the other day, with a gluten-free crust, inspired by Kate’s wisdom, and it made an entire party full of people happy.)

So, what is her secret to these incredible pies?

Trust in the sensory experience. Patience in the hands. Fruit at the height of ripeness.

And lard. Leaf lard, to be precise.

If you’d like to read Kate’s take on why she uses leaf lard in her pie crusts, take a look at this piece.

(And if you are in the Seattle area, or planning to visit, sign up now for one of Kate’s hands-on pie-making classes. You won’t be disappointed.)

2 thoughts on “making pie crusts with lard

  1. Hi Shauna,

    Thanks so much for the link! Indeed, Kate makes The World’s Best Pie – and I happily admit that, even though three months ago I would have thought myself worthy of that honour. I know when I’ve been bested, and I can’t wait for my next trip to Seattle to have more. I’ll have to plan my visit to coincide with apple season…I hear her 9-apple pie is phenomenal.

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