Waaaaay back in 2020, I wrote about fixing font hinting in Debian Buster and later versions. My fix involved maintaining a mildly-tweaked forked version of the package, which needed to be rebuilt at every update. At the time, I speculated that doing this in configuration might not be possible. Recently, however, I discovered that it is possible.
It's actually very simple; Freetype reads the FREETYPE_PROPERTIES environment variable. Set it to truetype:interpreter-version=35 to get the desired old behavior back on an unpatched Freetype.
And that's all there is to it. There's no “below the fold” on this one; enjoy!