Simple Plain Pastry: An Old Homestead Recipe

simple plain pastry
Great flavor begins with confidence in the kitchen. Some recipes are as simple as can be, but without the basics perfected, can turn disastrous. 

A good example of this is our popovers recipe. Consisting of only four ingredients, it seems easy enough. However, without a little knowledge and confidence... ugh.

This Christmas season, we're going to share a series of simple recipes to add a personal touch to your holiday table. Cookies, breads, appetizers, mains and serious desserts. It should be a fun ride.

However, none of our recipes will be that helpful unless we lay down the basics. So, today, we're going to do a walk-through on a simple, plain pastry. This is an old homestead recipe and has been proven time and time again. 

simple plain pastryWhether the plan is to make fruit pies or a comforting chicken pot pie from leftovers, a batch of sweet tarts or a grand tarte tatin, this is a go-to recipe. 

As with anything, it takes a bit of practice to build up confidence, but once mastered, a whole world of baking opens up.

Hungry for something sweet or savory like our clangers recipe? Make a pie crust and add your fillings!


Simple Plain Pastry: An Old Homestead Recipe

For this simple plain pastry, use all-purpose flour and lard from the supermarket. Pastry is an odd creation, as it doesn't seem to 'feel right' when everything is going to plan. Have patience and trust your skills. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

This recipe is for a standard, two-crust pie. 


* 2 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour

* 1 tsp Salt

* 6 Ounces Lard

* 6 Tbs cold water

Add two level cups of sifted flour into a bowl, the add the salt. Mix well.

Cut the lard into small pieces and add to the flour/salt mix. Using two butter knives, (or a pastry mixer on your machine which is much easier) mix everything together well until evenly distributed. Slowly add in the cold water while mixing until it is all comes together.

simple plain pastry
The dough will seem dry and flaky, as though it won't hold together. That's OK, it's supposed to look that way.

Use your hands to press the mixture into a firm ball, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 mins. 

Remove from the fridge and let it warm at room temperature for 20 minutes before working with it. This is called 'letting it rest,' allowing the lard and gluten to do their thing.

You now have a good piece of dough, and from here, it is simply preparing it for whatever you are making.

We love sharing our homesteading life with you all, and truly love it when you share with us. What tips do you have for making a great simple plain pastry? Let us know by joining the conversation below!


Love pastry made with butter or lard. No shortening! Good that you "lay down the basics" -- plain pastry for sweet or savory pies and tarts.
WT Abernathy said…
Same here:) That clanger's recipe we linked to in the post is amazing as well:)