Grandpa Joe's favorite
This recipe is straight from Alton Brown, another of my favorite celebrity chefs.
About this recipe
Television personality and chef extraordinaire Alton Brown teaches that butter in pie crust is necessary for flavor, but lard is required for flakiness. Using both creates the best of both worlds. I have used this recipe for years, and although pastries are far from my specialty, the result always has been excellent.
I have modified his procedures somewhat, but I have not touched his ingredients list. For the best results, however, no substitutions are allowed (sorry, but Crisco is not a substitute for lard here), and all ingredients must be weighed! Trust me on this, and you won't be disappointed.
NOTE (added January 2017): I discovered recently that fruit tart shells are made traditionally using an identical technique to this one, except only butter is used (four ounces instead of three, and no lard). The French (and likely most chefs) call this all butter crust a Pâte Brisée!
Posted: May 2014.