A one point carton of lard contains exactly 2 cups. Insert point of sharp knife into center point of the carton. Cut to, but not through the bottom of the carton. For 1 cup, remove lard from ½ of carton. For ½ cup, cut through carton again at the center point or divide the ½ cup measurement for a ¼ cup.
Whenever the recipe calls for a quantity of lard like 1/3 or 2/3 cup, it is often easier to measure in water. To measure 2/3 cup lard, measure 1/3 cup cold water in any standard measuring cup. Now add chunks of lard until water rises to the 1 cup line, being sure that the lard is entirely covered with water. Pour off water and lard can be easily removed from cup.
Pie shells hold to shape and shrink less when baked on the back of the pie pan. Let dough fall loosely over pan and shape without stretching. Crimp edges and prick with a fork all over to prevent blistering. Pie shells may be baked between 2 pans of equal size. Fit dough in pan without stretching, trim and press down edges with tines of fork and prick all over. Place second pan on top of dough. After 8 minutes of baking time, remove top pan to allow shell to brown.
When making custard or pumpkin pies, take a little of the beaten egg and spread over the unbaked crust with pastry brush or back of spoon. Place in refrigerator to let egg dry while making filling. When making fruit pies, combine flour with sugar, salt and spices. Sprinkle some of this mixture over bottom crust before filling pie. Combine rest of mixture with fruit and toss lightly, so that all fruit is coated.
Using the recipe for a double crust pie, fit lower crust into pan, cut off pastry to allow ½ inch overhang. With knife or pastry wheel, cut strips ½ inch wide. Cover pie with half of the strips. Starting at the center, fold back every other strip and weave additional strips diagonally across pie, under and over until top is covered. Press ends of strips to rim, fold the overhanging crust up and over and crimp edge. Pastry strips may be woven into lattice on wax paper. Whole lattice may be flipped over onto filling and wax paper peeled off.
Outline wedges of pie before baking with a knife. For a double crust pie, cut slits in top crust using toothpicks and string as a guide.
For a single crust pie, cut ½ inch strips of pastry. Outline wedges with the pastry instead of making regular lattice top.
Shape circles of pie dough pastry over the back of a regular muffin tin. Pinch edges and prick dough with fork tines. Bake at 425˚ until browned.
For a shiny glaze, brush top crust with a beaten mixture of ½ whole egg and ½ table spoon water before baking.
For a rich brown curst, brush top crust with milk before baking.
For an old-fashioned sugar crust, sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon over top crust before baking.
An equal amount of quick cooking granular tapioca or half as much cornstarch may be substituted for flour in fresh fruit pies.
Fruit should be drained and juice cooked with sugar and cornstarch until thick and clear. Add fruit and butter and allow to cool while mixing and rolling out crust. Mix cornstarch with sugar before adding to juice to avoid lumping. Twice as much flour can be substituted for cornstarch in recipe.
Substitute orange juice for water called for in recipe. Add grated orange rind to dry ingredients before cutting in lard.
add ½ cup grated sharp cheese to each 1/3 cup lard. Cut into dry ingredients along with lard. Use same amount of liquid as in recipe.
Stir 1/3 cup yellow corn meal in to sifted flour and salt of double crust recipe. Cut in lard and use same amount of liquid as in recipe. This pastry is especially good on meat or chicken pies.
For 9 inch pie
Beat 3 egg whites (best at room temperature) and 1/8 teaspoon salt until fluffy, but not stiff. Add 6 tablespoons granulated sugar gradually. Beat until meringue is stiff and fine textured. Pile meringue on pie filling. Make swirls with back of spoon, allowing meringue to touch the pie crust to avoid shrinking when baked.
Bake immediately at 425˚ F for 5-6 minutes to brown peaks. Allow pie to cool slowly. Once cooled, store pie in refrigerator until serving time.