Kirsten asks: I am making pie dough with lard. When I try to roll it out, it is dry and crumbly. What should I do to fix it?
Baking S.O.S. says: As with any pie dough (regardless of the type of fat used), if the dough is dry and crumbly, try adding just a little bit more water to moisten it and bring it together in a ball. Be certain the water is ICE COLD, and add just a few drops at a time. Pie dough can become too wet very quickly, so err on the safe side and add just a little at a time until the dough comes together in a neat ball.
Next, flatten the ball in a disk shape, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. This relaxes the gluten in the flour and makes it less elastic, meaning the pie dough will roll out more easily.
Note: The importance of using ice cold water is to keep the fat in the pie dough (lard, shortening, or butter) from melting. Cold pieces of fat will create a flaky pie crust. Warm, melted fat will turn your pie crust mushy.