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Using Lard in Pastry


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#1 claire797

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:06 AM

A few years ago, I bought my first package of lard. As I put it in the basket, I felt almost sleazy -- as if everyone was staring at me. Nevertheless, I just had to try a particular gingersnap recipe (it's in the archive now, by the way) of which the secret ingredient was lard. The cookies were worth it. The texture was sublime and co-workers raved. I didn't bother to mention the lard, and if I had, I wonder if anyone would have had second thoughts about eating the cookies.

Would you?

Do you use lard? How do you use it?

The gingersnap recipe is the only recipe where I've found lard to make a significant difference, though I suspect lard is key to other particularly good recipes. Any thoughts?

#2 rickster

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:12 AM

Lard is supposed to be particularly good in making flaky pie crusts, although I tried it once and prefer butter. The lard I used (Armour, I think) had a weird granulated texture, like little lumps in the lard, which made me think that it was old or had something wrong with it.

#3 cakewalk

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:17 AM

I didn't bother to mention the lard, and if I had, I wonder if anyone would have had second thoughts about eating the cookies. 

Would you?

:shock:

Oy vey.

#4 WHT

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:58 AM

:shock:

Oy vey.

Let's hear it for the Goy :biggrin:
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#5 Bux

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:07 PM

Lard is supposed to be particularly good in making flaky pie crusts, although I tried it once and prefer butter.

Evidently even buttery pie crusts will improve in texture if some lard or "shortening" is included with the butter. I guess all fat is shortening but Crisco is a brand name of what I mean by "shortening." I think we've gone though a time when such hydrongenated oils were considered healthier than lard or butter. I don't think you'll find anyone who's paid attention lately recommending using a hydrogenated trans fatty shortening over lard for health reasons.
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#6 slkinsey

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:14 PM

Lard is supposed to be particularly good in making flaky pie crusts, although I tried it once and prefer butter. The lard I used (Armour, I think) had a weird granulated texture, like little lumps in the lard, which made me think that it was old or had something wrong with it.

The quality of the lard can make a big difference. I can't imagine using those greasy, mealy bricks from the supermarket. I always get mine at Faicco's Pork Shop on Bleeker Street... keeps well in ther freezer.
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#7 Varmint

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:18 PM

You can get 25 gallon buckets of lard from the Nahunta Pork Outlet here in Raleigh. If I brought one of those home, Mrs. Varmint might divorce me. Oh, but wouldn't the biscuits be grand???
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#8 slkinsey

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:35 PM

You can get 25 gallon buckets of lard from the Nahunta Pork Outlet here in Raleigh.  If I brought one of those home, Mrs. Varmint might divorce me.  Oh, but wouldn't the biscuits be grand???

I bet you could hide it in a cool spot in the basement and Mrs. Varmint would never know... Slap a label on that baby that says something like "organic tile caulk." :wink:


Can you imagine deep frying chicken in pure lard? :droooooooooool:
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#9 claire797

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:38 PM

I didn't bother to mention the lard, and if I had, I wonder if anyone would have had second thoughts about eating the cookies. 

Would you?

:shock:

Oy vey.


Interesting reaction.

Note: None of my co-workers were vegetarians. Had that been the case, I would have said. BTW. These cookies contain lard.

Vegetarianism aside, I doubt lard is any worse for you healthwise than the hydrogenated oils that are in just about, oh, everything.

#10 Bux

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 12:57 PM

I didn't bother to mention the lard, and if I had, I wonder if anyone would have had second thoughts about eating the cookies. 

Would you?

:shock:

Oy vey.


Interesting reaction.

Note: None of my co-workers were vegetarians. Had that been the case, I would have said. BTW. These cookies contain lard.


I suspect none of them kept a kosher diet either. :biggrin: Had that been the case, I am sure you would have said "BTW. These cookies contain lard" and they in turn would have replied "oy vey."

Vegetarianism aside, I doubt lard is any worse for you healthwise than the hydrogenated oils that are in just about, oh, everything.

I suspect it's really a much healthier choice.
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#11 claire797

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:03 PM

I didn't bother to mention the lard, and if I had, I wonder if anyone would have had second thoughts about eating the cookies. 

Would you?

:shock:

Oy vey.


Interesting reaction.

Note: None of my co-workers were vegetarians. Had that been the case, I would have said. BTW. These cookies contain lard.


I suspect none of them kept a kosher diet either. :biggrin: Had that been the case, I am sure you would have said "BTW. These cookies contain lard" and they in turn would have replied "oy vey."

Vegetarianism aside, I doubt lard is any worse for you healthwise than the hydrogenated oils that are in just about, oh, everything.

I suspect it's really a much healthier choice.

No one in my group kept kosher. That's for sure. :biggrin:

Also, I suspect that anyone following a kosher diet wouldn't bother with any food brought into the office by another co-worker.

And now I'm off to research the health benefits of lard.....

#12 Bux

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:09 PM

And now I'm off to research the health benefits of lard.....

I didn't mean to imply it was so healthy that there's a minimum daily requirement. :laugh:
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#13 col klink

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:17 PM

I've had very good results with a lard/butter mixture in my pie crusts, just make sure to chill first or it's almost unmanagable.

#14 Popcorn

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:24 PM

You can get 25 gallon buckets of lard from the Nahunta Pork Outlet here in Raleigh.  If I brought one of those home, Mrs. Varmint might divorce me.  Oh, but wouldn't the biscuits be grand???

Yeah, and at least half the time I go there they're buy one get one free.

However the lard from Nahunta is of a surprisingly bad quality. I've tried using it for pie crusts among other things and it's very... assertive.

Ben

#15 nightscotsman

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:27 PM

From what I've read, those blocks of lard found in supermarkets are not very good for pie crust. The flavor was described as "harsh and unpleasant" and the texture wasn't as good as Crisco. What you really want is something called "leaf lard" which is from around the kidneys of the pig. Much better texture and lighter flavor.

Disclaimer: I've never cooked or baked with lard, so this is all second-hand info.

#16 Varmint

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:52 PM

You can get 25 gallon buckets of lard from the Nahunta Pork Outlet here in Raleigh.  If I brought one of those home, Mrs. Varmint might divorce me.  Oh, but wouldn't the biscuits be grand???

Yeah, and at least half the time I go there they're buy one get one free.

However the lard from Nahunta is of a surprisingly bad quality. I've tried using it for pie crusts among other things and it's very... assertive.

Ben

That doesn't surprise me at all, as Nahunta is what it says it is: an outlet. The place is not for the faint of heart.

As far as lard is concerned, I don't know that much about the best means of making it. If there's a lard expert out there, please enlighten us. Nightscotsman has started us down the right path, but we need more info!
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#17 Dave the Cook

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 01:56 PM

Here's something interesting. If you Google on "buy leaf lard" the third item in the list is this:
eGullet thread on Redneck Ice Cream

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#18 SamanthaF

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:01 PM

I always use a 50/50 mix of good lard and butter when making shortcrust pastry, it gives it a really crisp finish.

I generally don't use it for sweet pastry though.

#19 slkinsey

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:08 PM

There was an article in Saveur about leaf lard not long ago.
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#20 torakris

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:39 PM

I like lard! :biggrin:
In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)

eeeww..........

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#21 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:51 PM

Praise the Lard! (and pass the flaky pie crust)

I've also found that a mix of lard and butter gives a nice texture, but the taste can be strong, especially for any sort of sweet pastry. I should try getting hold of some of that leaf lard...

#22 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:53 PM

In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)

What do they use squeeze-lard for?

#23 rickster

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 02:55 PM

In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)


And what do they put in it to make it squeezable?

#24 Nick

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 03:30 PM

As far as lard is concerned, I don't know that much about the best means of making it.  If there's a lard expert out there, please enlighten us.  Nightscotsman has started us down the right path, but we need more info!

I'm not an expert, but I do make my own lard (mostly for use when I make tortillas.) The stuff in the store is awful. It's fairly simple to make, but takes some time. The main thing is to start with leaf fat. The new Joy of Cooking has a good piece on making lard that will get you started (p. 1069.)

Also, I just found this article after doing a Google search and it explains things about the same as I make lard. "EasyFunSchool" :smile: (the site) has a better explanation than the other sites I looked at.

I use a cast iron kettle and the hardest part is getting the first bit of fat to melt. After that melts and gets hot just keep adding more without trying to push things too much.

#25 torakris

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 03:56 PM

In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)

What do they use squeeze-lard for?

The Japanese use lard in a lot of dishes of Chinese origin, especially in gyoza, steamed buns, ramen and fried rice, I guess the squeeze bottles make it easier for the home cook.
I searched yahoo Japan and couldn't come up with a picture or information, just hundreds of recipes that call for the tubed lard!
I am not sure what company puts it out, guess this means a trip to the supermarket! :biggrin:

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#26 torakris

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 03:56 PM

In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)


And what do they put in it to make it squeezable?

I have no idea!

I check on my trip to the supermarket :biggrin:

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#27 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 04:03 PM

Also, I just found this article after doing a Google search and it explains things about the same as I make lard. "EasyFunSchool"  :smile:  (the site) has a better explanation than the other sites I looked at.

Easyfunschool.com! Absolutely priceless, and my new favorite website name...

#28 Xanthippe

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 04:09 PM

As far as lard is concerned, I don't know that much about the best means of making it.  If there's a lard expert out there, please enlighten us.  Nightscotsman has started us down the right path, but we need more info!

I'm not an expert, but I do make my own lard (mostly for use when I make tortillas.) The stuff in the store is awful. It's fairly simple to make, but takes some time. The main thing is to start with leaf fat. The new Joy of Cooking has a good piece on making lard that will get you started (p. 1069.)

Also, I just found this article after doing a Google search and it explains things about the same as I make lard. "EasyFunSchool" :smile: (the site) has a better explanation than the other sites I looked at.

I use a cast iron kettle and the hardest part is getting the first bit of fat to melt. After that melts and gets hot just keep adding more without trying to push things too much.

Yep, nix the store-bought stuff and either make your own, which I've done, or purchase it from an accomodating butcher. We have many Hispanic mercados in these parts, and I've never had a problem getting quality manteca from these establishments.

Good lard is essential for authentic refried beans, and does wonders for a pot of Mexican cowboy beans. I've used it in cornbread, as well.

claire797, those gingersnaps sound great. I wouldn't hesitate to eat 'em!

Edited by Xanthippe, 02 June 2003 - 06:11 PM.


#29 claire797

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 05:52 PM

I'm feeling much better about lard at the moment.

Bux, I wonder how much googling I'll have to do to find the minimum daily requirement for lard? I think I may have to google forever.

Nick, "easyfunschool.com" sounded very Japanese. I was disappointed to find that it was not loaded with Anime and other such wackiness. I didn't take the time to search for lard making tips as I am still very "Lard 101".

Torakris, lard in a tube is pure genius.

#30 torakris

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:11 PM

In Japan they sell it in these neat squeeze bottles (looks just like Kewpie mayo--hope no one confuses them!)


And what do they put in it to make it squeezable?

I have no idea!

I check on my trip to the supermarket :biggrin:

I am back from the supermarket, bought some lard.
It is made by Snowbrand (a major milk/butter/cheese company in Japan), the ingredients list pork fat and oxidation prevention medicine (I am sure there is an English word for this but i am going blank so that is the direct translation. It has Vitamin E in parantheses.

Here is a picture:

http://www003.upp.so...mg/lab/1_03.jpg

this was the only picture I could find, the reason it is in the pot is because he was melting it to make soap? I didn't read the whole website..................

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