y'all, you've got to read this. i've included the beginnings to inspire readings:
Heaven in a Pie Pan: The Perfect Crust
By MELISSA CLARK
Published: November 15, 2006
A FEW years ago, I achieved perfection in a pie crust and it smelled like pig.
Not in a muddy, barnyard way, but with a very subtly meaty, nutty aroma.
Carefully confected with part butter and part freshly rendered lard, this pie pastry was everything baking-book authors and bloggers wax poetic about: a golden-brown-around-the-edges epiphany richly flavored and just salty enough to contrast with the sweet apple filling, the texture as flaky as a croissant but still crisp. It shattered when you bit it, then melted instantly on the tongue.
The only problem with my masterpiece, I told my guests as they licked the crumbs off their plates, was that I was never, ever going to make it again.