Rendering Leaf Lard for Pie Crust

The season of celebrations is upon us, and with it requests for leaf lard.

For generations, the best pie crusts were made with lard, or a combination of lard and butter; lard bringing the delicate flakiness, and butter offering great flavor. Then, somehow we got confused about our fats.

lard on a spoon

We all need fats in our diet to properly absorb nutrients. The unprocessed foods we eat are some combination of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Most of the fat in a pasture-raised animal is monounsaturated fats in the form of oleic fatty acid, the same fatty acid found in good olive oil that is so often praised for it’s health benefits. The soft leaf lard found in pastured pigs that our great-grandmothers used for pastry making is this type of good fat.

We sell our leaf lard unrendered, straight from the animal. Rendering lard is not difficult, especially if you know the proper techniques for the stovetop or the crock pot. And it makes a heavenly pie crust.

flaky pie crust



1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens