Vintage Hot Water Pastry

Vintage Hot Water Pastry

My mother made this pastry recipe from farm-fresh pork lard, likely rendered by her mom. Later, she purchased a similar product from the butcher shop. I have occasionally used brand name lard from grocery stores, but it doesn’t taste quite the same. You will find extra ingredients in boxed lard designed to increase shelf life.

I like to buy lard from a farm like Saskatchewan’s Pineview Farms where it is rendered in their butcher shop and kept in a refrigerator. I store it accordingly when I arrive home. When I make my family’s traditional homemade mincemeat, as featured in Prairies North Magazine, winter issue, 2019, I use this pastry recipe and farm rendered lard to make my memories complete. 

Mixing hot water with flour and lard defies the pastry science we learned in Home Economics. However, this recipe is easy, fast, keeps for a week in the fridge, and rolls like a dream. I have found versions of this recipe in cookbooks dating back to the 1920s. It has stood the taste of time.

Vintage Hot Water Pastry


½ a pound of lard (I use farm rendered lard and remove it from the refrigerator to soften, a few hours ahead of mixing.)

½ cup of boiling water

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into cup and level with a knife)

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder 


Cream lard with a beater or whisk

Add the boiling water and whisk until smooth

Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix with a spoon.

When mixed, put the pastry into a bowl, cover with a lid, and chill until ready to use. 

This pastry keeps in the fridge for a week and is ready to top a turkey pot pie or quickly make tarts for dessert. It is easily doubled. 


Comments (1)

  • LILLIAN KOWALYK December 7, 2019 at 05:49 pm

    Thank you for this recipie!
    Must admit it is the weirdest recipe I have ever tried for pastry...but definatly thee essiest and i had a very fine flaky result! Number 1 in my books

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