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Using Lard in Pastry


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178 replies to this topic

#61 KNorthrup

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 08:04 PM

ppffftttt. anaheim. but it's over now and the devils -- devil food cakes, yeah, that's it -- won.

#62 fifi

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:21 AM

Lard is quite possibly the most fabulous fat on the planet. But you either have to make it yourself or get it from a well trusted butcher. I make my own. I also like to use the method recommended by Zarela Martinez. That way you get this wonderful stuff from the bottom of the pan that includes some browny bits. You save that to spread on tortillas or dollop on just about anything else. I am not a baker but I imagine that if you are careful to trim out the whitest fat and render slowly, you won't get much "lard" flavor. That comes from the connective tissue that makes those browny bits.

There is one very important word regarding "store bought" lard...

HYDROGENATED

That is what makes it stable on the shelf and more solid at room temperature. It also makes those nasty trans fatty acids.

BAD BAD BAD

Fresh lard...

GOOD GOOD GOOD
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#63 Xanthippe

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 12:36 PM

Lard is quite possibly the most fabulous fat on the planet. But you either have to make it yourself or get it from a well trusted butcher. I make my own. I also like to use the method recommended by Zarela Martinez. That way you get this wonderful stuff from the bottom of the pan that includes some browny bits. You save that to spread on tortillas or dollop on just about anything else. I am not a baker but I imagine that if you are careful to trim out the whitest fat and render slowly, you won't get much "lard" flavor. That comes from the connective tissue that makes those browny bits.

There is one very important word regarding "store bought" lard...

HYDROGENATED

That is what makes it stable on the shelf and more solid at room temperature. It also makes those nasty trans fatty acids.

BAD BAD BAD

Fresh lard...

GOOD GOOD GOOD

Yep, I either render my own lard or purchase it from a trusted butcher at a local Hispanic mercado. Fifi's so right about the reason store-bought lard is bad, bad, bad. I've never tried the Zarela Martinez method; I use the one recommended by Rick Bayless. How does Zarela say to do it?

NOW, following is my report on Claire's Laudable Lardsnaps:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought my recipe for ginger molasses cookies was good. Hah!! These are absolutely, far-and-away superior. I used the full amount of cayenne, which wasn't a problem at all; and the texture was indeed sublime. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, claire.

Now I'm envisioning "grown up" ice cream sandwiches: homemade lemon ice cream between two lardsnaps. What do you all think??

#64 elyse

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:22 PM

YUM!

#65 claire797

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:26 PM

Xanthippe,

I am so happy that you liked the gingersnap recipe!! Glad the suggested amount of cayenne worked out for you.

Another thing I do with those gingersnaps is dab the tops in crystallized sugar before baking. I forgot to mention this.

BTW, tonight is lard fry night. I'll report back.

#66 fifi

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:37 PM

The Bayless method that I am looking at calls for putting the cubes of fat in the oven. That is also the method Diana Kennedy uses. I do that sometimes when I am in a hurry.

Now that I think about it, I am not sure this method came from Zarela. I think it did but I just can't find it in the books I have handy right now. Anyway... You use a heavy pot on the top of the stove on medium heat (or lower), adding a little water to the bottom of the pot to get it started. You want to go slowly here and it will seem to take forever. The water cooks off. You dip or pour off some of the lard before the fat cubes get brown. This yields a very clear lard with a very mild flavor. Then you proceed to continue cooking. You can actually do this in three dippings yielding three products: the white mild stuff (probably what you want for baking), then a yellower medium flavored lard (general purpose savory cooking), then the bottom of the pot that has lots of browny bits and flavor (great for putting on a tortilla).

Edited by fifi, 06 June 2003 - 03:03 PM.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#67 mamster

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 03:22 PM

Would it make that much of a difference, do you think, to make the lardsnaps with lard rendered from back fat rather than leaf fat?
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
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#68 Nick

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 04:48 PM

.......then the bottom of the pot that has lots of browny bits and flavor (great for putting on a tortilla).

I've never thought of spreading lard on tortillas. Interesting. I usually mix it in with the flour, masa harina, and salt before adding the water. And I'm lazy, so I melt the lard before adding instead of cutting it in.

#69 fifi

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:04 PM

Yeah... You still put the lard in the flour for flour tortillas. Corn tortillas don't typically have lard. Maybe you are thinking of tamales. There you do whip lard into the masa. Then you spread on the other lard. Lard is usually spread on corn tortillas. By the way, there is a word for the lard with the browny bits but I can't think of it to save me. I have been going through my books looking for it. It is driving me NUTS! Where is Jaymes?

editted for stupidity, mixing up tortillas and tamales... hey, it's a "t" word.

Edited by fifi, 06 June 2003 - 05:25 PM.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#70 Xanthippe

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:29 PM

Xanthippe,

I am so happy that you liked the gingersnap recipe!!  Glad the suggested amount of cayenne worked out for you. 

Another thing I do with those gingersnaps is dab the tops in crystallized sugar before baking.  I forgot to mention this.

BTW, tonight is lard fry night.  I'll report back.

You know, claire, I "automatically" dabbed the tops of the snaps in crystallized sugar; my former favorite recipe, Ginger-Molasses Crinkles, called for doing the same.

Anxious to hear the "Lard Fry Night" report!

KNorthrup, meant to tell you I'm sorry about the Duck's loss . . .

And fifi, thanks for detailing the stovetop lard method, which sounds better than rendering in the oven. More "lard variety," as it were. :wink:

This site is unbelievably, totally informative!!

#71 fifi

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:30 PM

Eureka... I've got it!

ASIENTO The good stuff at the bottom of the lard pot.
Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

#72 claire797

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 05:25 AM

Would it make that much of a difference, do you think, to make the lardsnaps with lard rendered from back fat rather than leaf fat?

Mamster, I doubt it. I'm using the grubby grocery store lard in my gingersnaps and they're still delicious.

The verdict is in on the lard fries. YUM! In a side-to-side taste test with fries cooked in Canola oil, the lard fries one for their fuller, rounded flavor.

My usual canola oil fries are good, but the lard fries had a very subtle bacony note to them -- not so much that one would think "bacon fries", but enough extra flavor to take you back to whatever divey place's fries haunt your memory.

We eat fries fairly often, so I don't think we'll be using lard on a regular basis. Maybe we'll make it a once every few months thing.

#73 elyse

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:37 AM

I just HATE canola oil. I use it, but it always makes everything taste fishy to me.

Claire, you reminded me of the yummiest fries. When you have a rare/medium rare cheese burger, and the cheese has melted on the fries a little. Then you cut the burger in two and all the juice runs out, and you sop it up with the fries. Mmmmmm. I am so hungry.

#74 claire797

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:29 PM

I just HATE canola oil.  I use it, but it always makes everything taste fishy to me. 

How very, very odd. I've never noticed a fishy taste. Now that you've mentioned it, I probably will.

Elyse, your "burger-juiced" fries are yet another example that fries *need* some sort of animal-fat infusion to really taste good

#75 Xanthippe

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 04:33 PM

The verdict is in on the lard fries.  YUM!  In a side-to-side taste test with fries cooked in Canola oil, the lard fries one for their fuller, rounded flavor.

My usual canola oil fries are good, but the lard fries had a very subtle bacony note to them -- not so much that one would think "bacon fries", but enough extra flavor to take you back to whatever divey place's fries haunt your memory. 

Let's hear it for lard fries!! Thanks for reporting back, claire. What you described as the "fuller, rounded flavor" and "subtle bacony note" is exactly how I remember the fries in Iowa. In fact, we asked if the fries had been done in bacon fat because of the slight bacon undertone; that's when we were told the restaurant used lard. So you've confirmed the whole experience for me.

And elyse is right: canola oil does impart a fishy taste to things. I use it only when absolutely necessary, and even then, reluctantly.

Edited by Xanthippe, 07 June 2003 - 06:36 PM.


#76 elyse

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:32 PM

Yeah, it's weird. I have no idea why it could be. Whatever happened to supertaster thread?

#77 Xanthippe

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:41 PM

Yeah, it's weird.  I have no idea why it could be.  Whatever happened to supertaster thread?

Once, when I first began using canola oil, I jettisoned almost an entire bottle because I thought it had turned rancid (fishy taste). I soon learned The Truth.

The supertaster thread was interesting, no? Salty, sweet, bitter, acid . . .

#78 elyse

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:59 PM

My first time, I was working the fryolators at work, and my boss wanted to try it. I said it tasted fishy, he said I was crazy, he decided not to use it. Feh.

#79 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:22 PM

I'm about to make a pie crust. The recipe calls for 1/2 lb shortening, which I guess is Crisco. I only have Tenderflake lard on hand, can I use that instead?
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#80 K8memphis

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:27 PM

Yes yes yes Lard makes far and away the best pie crust in the Milky Way and surrounding universes. :biggrin: probably wanna get it cold though.

#81 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:33 PM

Ok, I'm trusting you on this. :biggrin: Now an even more inportant question. How does one flute the darn edges of pie or in this case, tart crust?

I'm a makin butter tarts. :smile:
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#82 phaelon56

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:38 PM

If you have a tart pan it should already have fluted edges - I'm not sure of how else it could be accomplished. My large 11" tart pan has them and the small tartlet pans I've seen also do.

I recal being advised in this forum that most conventional grocery store lard may buy you a very slight edge in flavor over Crisco but it's typically a hydrogenated product and may not offer the advantages that lard is traditionally presumed to offer. If there's a grocery store in your area with Amish products they may have the Amish lard which is non-hydrogenated.

#83 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:41 PM

If you have a tart pan it should already have fluted edges - I'm not sure of how else it could be accomplished. My large 11" tart pan has them and the small tartlet pans I've seen also do.

I recal being advised in this forum that most conventional grocery store lard may buy you a very slight edge in flavor over Crisco but it's typically a hydrogenated product and may not offer the advantages that lard is traditionally presumed to offer. If there's a grocery store in your area with Amish products they may have the Amish lard which is non-hydrogenated.

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No tart pan. I have to use muffin tins. Who knew there were special tart pans? I suppose if I made these often enough I would know, but I used to use the tart shells to make these and just make the filling, but I'm feeling brave today. Tart pans will go on my list of things to buy, but in the mean time, muffin tins it is.
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#84 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:47 PM

Rats. I just had a look at some tartlet pans. I don't think my muffin tins are going to work. I guess frozen shells it is. :sad:
Marlene
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#85 slkinsey

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:52 PM

You can do freeform tartlets, provided you don't fill them too much.
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#86 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:53 PM

You can do freeform tartlets, provided you don't fill them too much.

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I'm really not that good with pastry yet. Can you imagine what they'd look like? :blink:
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#87 choux

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 01:59 PM

If you are making butter tarts in a muffin pan, just roll out the dough and cut 4" circles out of it. Then line your muffin tin with the dough circles. You will have a bit of folding and pleating but it works just fine. I do them like that all the time and they are excellent. Those pre-made tartlets are nasty tasting.

#88 K8memphis

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 02:06 PM

Rats.  I just had a look at some tartlet pans.  I don't think my muffin tins are going to work.  I guess frozen shells it is.  :sad:

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Wull sure they will - do you have any cake decorating tips - the little round ones y'know??? Wull a star one with the like teeth - put it on your finger and letting it point straight down & press around the top edges of your pie crust with the teeth - it not only makes a pretty flute it scallops it. :biggrin:

The motion you are making is like the donger in a bell - hitting the top edge of the crust but hitting it all around one next to the other with the decorating tip stuck on the end of your finger. Now I've only done this with cream cheese dough that I recall.

Works to perfection on pecan sassies y'know??? But but but your pie crust might puffy up too much & loose the distincitons but maybe it would work - but I just used my regular muffin pans the other day & made quiches. Totally works no problem-o.

Or or or just use the tines of a fork.

And I have only used grocery store lard. Notice yours is called 'Tenderflake' - oh yeah, well named!!!

#89 Marlene

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 02:16 PM

Rats.  I just had a look at some tartlet pans.  I don't think my muffin tins are going to work.  I guess frozen shells it is.   :sad:

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Wull sure they will - do you have any cake decorating tips - the little round ones y'know??? Wull a star one with the like teeth - put it on your finger and letting it point straight down & press around the top edges of your pie crust with the teeth - it not only makes a pretty flute it scallops it. :biggrin:

The motion you are making is like the donger in a bell - hitting the top edge of the crust but hitting it all around one next to the other with the decorating tip stuck on the end of your finger. Now I've only done this with cream cheese dough that I recall.

Works to perfection on pecan sassies y'know??? But but but your pie crust might puffy up too much & loose the distincitons but maybe it would work - but I just used my regular muffin pans the other day & made quiches. Totally works no problem-o.

Or or or just use the tines of a fork.

And I have only used grocery store lard. Notice yours is called 'Tenderflake' - oh yeah, well named!!!

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yes I have decorating tips. Ok, you've all convinced me to try this in my muffin tins. I'll let you know how it turns out. As soon as I get my husband on his plane to Washington. :blink:
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#90 Ling

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 09:51 PM

Free-form tarts are much better than the frozen shells. I'm not a particularly experienced baker but I do free-form ones all the time. I'm sure you'll do just great. :smile: