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Lard instead of shortening??
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: Lard instead of shortening?? Reply with quote

Anyone ever use lard instead of shortening for pie dough? How's the flavor? (We're talking fruit pies, not savory pies)

My stomach does NOT like Crisco. I've tried all butter, but the crust is a little tough, not to mention expensive!

I usually use use half butter, half shortening.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the issue is stickier than you may have thought . . .

half butter + half (something else) is my usual approach.

in the transfat massacre, Crisco changed it's formula.
rather more than a few bakers have noticed a major problem using "new" Crisco in "classic" recipes.

lard is good.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: Lard instead of shortening?? Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
Anyone ever use lard instead of shortening for pie dough? How's the flavor? (We're talking fruit pies, not savory pies)

My stomach does NOT like Crisco. I've tried all butter, but the crust is a little tough, not to mention expensive!

I usually use use half butter, half shortening.


Lard crust for any type of pie is absolutely wonderful. It does however depend on your taste. Depending on how the lard was rendered/filtered it may or may not taste good with fruit. When I render my own the filtration isn't quite as pure and it adds a "meaty" flavor, which is why it's so good!

Try it, see what you like.

xo, Biggles
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IronRinger



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I come from a long line of lard pastry makers. Until I started reading cooking fora on the net, I had NEVER heard of using butter for pie crust. Mind you, here in Canada, we can still get unhydrogenated lard, cheap, in any supermarket. And I think our Crisco is still laced with trans fat. So it is lard all the way, all the time for me.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I'll get some lard (Armor, I think -- manteca) and give it a go.

It's the Palm oil in the new, improved Crisco that throws my stomach for a loop. I don't recall the old stuff ever causing such a problem.

Spare me the do-gooders!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
Thanks guys. I'll get some lard (Armor, I think -- manteca) and give it a go.

I use lard in almost all my pastry crust - typically half lard, half butter for flavor and texture. (All lard produces a crust that is a little too short for my taste.) I do NOT like Armour brand lard ("manteca" is Spanish for lard and is the translation for the big bold LARD printed on the box on the other side). Armour tends to have an off flavor and a small amount is partially hydrogenated to increase shelf life. If you can, look for leaf lard or pastry lard (unlikely to be at your supermarket). I found mine by asking artisan bakers. When I moved to Texas, I happen to go to a food and heritage event (really cool get together where people shared a dish and explained what it meant to them growing up, etc.) and met Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due who renders leaf lard for local pigs. I buy my lard from him exclusively and cook with it (Brussels Sprouts with Bacon cooked in lard) and bake with it (perfect pie crust).
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, you're right! Armor Manteca/Lard works fine, but has a really OFF flavor.

Tastes like a diner pie -- not bad, but not especially good.

I'll look for baker's leaf lard. Got any suggestions where to find it? I don't know any good bakeries in the area, or I'd start there.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
I'll look for baker's leaf lard. Got any suggestions where to find it? I don't know any good bakeries in the area, or I'd start there.

This is an older thread on Chowhound, but it might be a good starting place:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732481
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael! I tried rendering some leaf lard I got from the butcher's (took 10 days from order to delivery, sigh). I managed to do it, and you're right, the result is SUPERB! None of the off-flavor you mentioned with the Armour.


I did NOT RTFM on renedering before I began, and am rather pissed at the butcher for not offering to grind it for me as he Knew I was going to render it! That's tip #1: Get the butcher to grind it for you!

Second tip is cheesecloth and a big china cap. Both of mine are stored away, so I had to make due with coffee filters and tiny little sieves. Boy, that was pain. Just lots of cheesecloth and a colander would work fine, too.

Thanks again!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
Michael! I tried rendering some leaf lard I got from the butcher's (took 10 days from order to delivery, sigh). I managed to do it, and you're right, the result is SUPERB! None of the off-flavor you mentioned with the Armour.

Wonderful stuff, isn't it?
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Chu wrote:
Wonderful stuff, isn't it?


Sure is! And I'm getting good at this dough business. Have a few tricks up my sleeve I'll post before winter is here. Until then, it's back to more pie-making!

Thought of you today when I went to make a peach pie. Got curious for the denisty of lard vs. butter and found they are the same: 205 gms/cup.

Great website for density conversions at Aqua-calc
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Using Butter in Pastry Reply with quote

Using Butter in Pastry can be tricky because butter may contain liquid, either from milk or water added to make it heavier for sale.

To remove the water you need to melt the butter first then heat it on med/low until it sizzles and turn it down and cook for at least 2 minutes. (Getting it too hot will brown it changing the flavor.)

Let the butter cool completely to use for Pastry, as the harder fat will make nice globules in the flour for that flaky quality. If you are in a hurry you can pour the melted butter onto the flour mixture, wait for it to cool on top, then mix it in, but harder fat is better. (melted butter is ok to use in biscuits and pancakes though.)

Nan B.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 325
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nan. Good point.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are welcome Jim,
but of course the leaf lard is best. Smile
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Nik
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: piecrusts or pastries and lard Reply with quote

hi all
so glad this site is alive and well for the last # years.
lard is wonderful due to the melting point. when it has a 'meaty' smell, that can detract from a mild, non-savory filling, such as a custard. also due to poor handling or rendering method it can even have an 'off' flavor that is extremely off-putting. i'd suggest melting a bit and frying a cube of bread to taste and decide for yourself. i always used lard yrs ago until a family member decided on vegetarianism. now i use trans-free Spectrum shortening (2/3) and unsalted butter (1/3).
cut the butter in first with a small amt of shortening for a fine crumb appearance. finish with the remainder of the shortening cutting it in coarsely to get the much desired flakey effect. yes- too much water will make a tough, cardboardlike crust. my flour often adsorbs 2x as much water as called for !! but just monitor as you go and DO NOT overwork the dough. always chill crust prior to filling. always start baking @ 425 F
regardless of the sort of pie, to set the flakiness. otherwise the fats will simply melt and make another sort of cardboard.
it's a sad, sad pie that is no good hot from the oven. next morning, cold, is the true test of a tasty, flakey crust! thnks for letting me chat. i love pie!
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