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Bear Lard Blackberry Pie is Beautiful and Delicious

bear lard blackberry pie

Bear lard was historically favored to make the very best pastry crust. Here we use it to make a delicious bear lard blackberry pie.

Joanna Woods, wife of primitive skills expert Shawn Woods, takes you through the steps of making a delicious blackberry pie using a bear lard based crust.

Early summer is the perfect time to make berry pies. There are fresh berries to harvest and, well, it’s summertime! Who doesn’t love a delicious fresh berry pie in the summertime?

She is also using bear lard to make the pie’s pastry. Bear lard is historically the favored ingredient for making pastries, and this pie gives a nod to those old recipes.

If you want to see how to render bear lard, click here.

Joanna Woods based her recipe on those she found in a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook and from

First, we’ll start with the pastry recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup bear lard, frozen and broken into small pieces
  • 12 tbsp butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 additional cup flour
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/4 cup iced vodka

Combine the first three dry ingredients in your food processor and pulse to mix.

Add the fat to the dry ingredients. Process for 15-20 seconds to form loose clumps. Scrape the sides of the processor and add the additional cup of flour. Process briefly until well mixed. It will make a loose, crumbly mix. Turn the mixture out into a mixing bowl.

Add the iced water and vodka. Mix well with a stiff spatula.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half with plastic wrap. Flatten them slightly, and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Now for the blackberry pie filling:

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp quick cooking tapioca
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for around 20 minutes.

Ok, now you can prepare your pie crust.

Allow the dough to come to room temperature. Sprinkle your rolling surface with flour and lay the dough out onto it. Begin rolling with a rolling pin to create a circular shape larger than your pie pan. Keep rotating the dough as you roll it out, in order to keep it from sticking to the counter. Use a little more flour if necessary. Flatten it until it’s around 1/8-inch in thickness.

Place the pastry into your pie plate and lightly press it down into the pie plate. There should be an inch or two of dough hanging over the edges. Refrigerate the doughed pie pan.

Roll out the second half of the dough just like you did the first half.

Remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and pour the berry mixture into the doughed plate. Place the second circle of dough over the top of the pie. Trim the excess dough around the edge of the pie plate to around 1/2 to 1 inch.

Roll and tuck the edges of the dough all around the edge. Then crimp to seal the edges of the dough.

Coat the surface of the pie crust with an egg wash. Sprinkle a healthy amount of coarse sugar over the top of the pie. Cut a few slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Lightly crimp aluminum foil around the outer edge of the pie to help keep the edges from burning. You will leave the foil on the pie for the first 40-45 minutes of baking.

Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for around 40 minutes. Remove the foil from the pie, and continue baking for another 15 minutes.

And there you have a delicious bear lard blackberry pie!

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.


NEXT: Dutch Oven Cooking: Savory Beef Steak Pie

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Bear Lard Blackberry Pie is Beautiful and Delicious