The Perfect Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
½ cup cold lard
½ cup (1 stick) cold cubed butter
1/2 cup ice water

It is very important that when making pie pastry you work with COLD ingredients and work quickly.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix.  Add the cold lard and cold cubed butter.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the fat into the flour until the lard and butter are in pea sized pieces.  Sprinkle about 3 Tbsp. of water over the mixture.  Using a fork, gently press the mixture against the side of the bowl.  Add more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and continue to press the dough until it forms a large ball.  It is best to never exceed 1/2 cup of water in any recipe or you will end up with sticky pie crust.  When it is almost completely combined, use your hands to quickly shape it into one large lump but do not knead it until it is smooth.  Place the dough lump into a plastic bag or wrap it in waxed paper and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day to rest.  Roll pastry dough on a floured surface and bake according to specific pie recipe instructions.

Makes 2 rolled sheets.