Why use lard in pastries? Butter produces extremely good crusts, yet lard holds two distinct advantages over an all-butter crust. First, lard produces flakier crusts than butter. Even the small amount of water present in butter may cause the dough particles to stick to one another rather than separate into the discrete layers that constitute a flaky pastry. Second, while butter is primarily a saturated fat, lard by percentage is primarily an unsaturated fat. Here, a recipe for lard-and-butter pastry dough.
'leaf lard' on Serious Eats
Nothing should stand in your way when it comes to a culinary communion with lard. If you are so clever as to obtain the entirety of leaf lard (ask a good butcher), then all you really need to render it is a knife and heavy pot. You can then use the lard in both sweet and savory dishes, like this recipe for Welsh Griddle Cakes.