Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Using Lard in Pastry


  • Please log in to reply
178 replies to this topic

#151 chefpeon

chefpeon
  • participating member
  • 1,796 posts
  • Location:Tinytown, WA, USA

Posted 14 May 2007 - 06:42 PM

Checked out the leaf lard at the Flying Pigs website.....the downside is that you have to render it yourself. The lard I get from Dietrich's is already rendered. :smile:

#152 mukki

mukki
  • participating member
  • 479 posts
  • Location:Miami Beach

Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:25 PM

I also order from Dietrich's, but I use a 100% lard crust, like my mom did. I suppose I should try a butter mixture sometime, but the lard crust is so easy to make. It doesn't seem to make a difference whether the lard is at room temp or chilled as it always comes out flaky.

#153 Lindacakes

Lindacakes
  • participating member
  • 918 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, New York

Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:05 AM

My mom also did 100% lard -- I found the flavor to be a bit intense and the digestion thereof to also be a bit intense.

I don't remember this from my mom's pie, though.

Lard is actually healthier for you than butter -- this is explicated in again, a recent Splendid Table or Good Food broadcast/podcast. It's higher in the good fats and lower in the bad fats.

If you stop and think about it, it's no worse than anything else that goes on in or comes out of an abbatoir.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#154 Marky Marc

Marky Marc
  • participating member
  • 168 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Washington

Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:37 PM

I have a recipe for a dough that calls for lard.
Is it possible to subtitute butter for lard?



Thanks, Marc

#155 mikeycook

mikeycook
  • participating member
  • 857 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:42 PM

What kind of dough is it? What are you making?
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

#156 Vicious Wadd

Vicious Wadd
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:07 PM

I have a recipe for a dough that calls for lard.
Is it possible to subtitute butter for lard?



Thanks, Marc

View Post


Lard often renders a very flaky crust that you're going to have a hard time duplicating with butter alone. I am more of a cook than a baker, so you can that opinion as you see fit.

If it's a health issue, lard does not hold the ogre-status it did a few years ago. So unless you're going to make a habit of eating a lot of it, an occassional indulgence here and there isn't such a bad thing. And them thar' lard crusts sure taste good!

If you're dead-set against it, Crisco now makes trans-fat free shortening that may be a better substitute than butter.

Edited by Vicious Wadd, 13 August 2007 - 01:07 PM.


#157 StevenC

StevenC
  • participating member
  • 133 posts

Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:25 PM

Remember, lard is 100% fat, whereas regular sweet butter contains a significant amount of water, as well as some protein and lactose. So, the results are going to be somewhat different, with lard producing more crispiness.

The public phobia about lard is stupid, especially considering that (1) margarine and artificial shortenings are more dangerous and (2) butter has twice the cholesterol (not that I take the cholesterol content of butter into account, ever). Plus, lard tastes much better than Crisco or the like. I think it was Rick Bayless who said that substituting Crisco for lard in a tamale is like substituting Crisco for butter in a croissant.

#158 mikeycook

mikeycook
  • participating member
  • 857 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:35 PM

I say get a nice leaf lard from someplace like Flying Pigs Farm, render it yourself, and live it up. :biggrin:
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

#159 Pontormo

Pontormo
  • participating member
  • 2,589 posts

Posted 13 August 2007 - 02:33 PM

I'd recommend using a different recipe for now.

I am a fan of the recipes by Judy Rodgers and Martha Stewart for all-butter pie doughs, ones I turned to after years of following James Beard and using a combination of vegetable shortening and butter.

I'll let someone else fill in the blanks as to why there's a revival of interest in lard which if properly made has significantly less cholesterol and bad fats than butter.

I just got an email from EcoFriendly Foods confirming that my order of coarsely ground pig fat will be brought to the farmer's market this weekend for me to transform into lard. It won't be the most highly prized leaf lard, but I trust this operation and someone who has been relying on them for years of rendering her own.

This will be my first attempt, so I am starting modestly w five pounds to make a quart, using two different methods, one for making pastry.

I'll let you know the results.

From what I've been told, the lard sold in most supermarkets is an inferior product. In Seattle, you may be able to get your hands on something better, though Whole Foods does not seem to have reached enlightment yet. Speak to vendors at your own farmers market, or go down to your favorite butcher, or Salumi and find out what suppliers might be available to you.

ETA: My cost: $5. The lowest price of butter in town (Whole Foods & Trader Joe's) is $2.69 a lb if considerably more at most supermarket chains or for those looking for pasture-fed animals. So once the crock of lard is made it will cost about 40 cents less for local food :wink: made from pasture-raised pigs.

Edited by Pontormo, 13 August 2007 - 02:49 PM.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#160 viva

viva
  • participating member
  • 729 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:35 PM

If you're not philosophically averse to it, nothing beats a lard crust. I personally like a half lard, half butter crust. Edit: real lard, that is. Not that shelf-stable hydrogenated crap at the supermarket. I get mine at the "Nahunta Pork Center... where Pork is King!" at a very reasonable price.

If you are, then substitute in another tried & true pie dough recipe for the lard one. I would not trust substituting butter for lard ounce for ounce.

Edited by viva, 13 August 2007 - 03:36 PM.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

#161 srhcb

srhcb
  • legacy participant
  • 2,918 posts
  • Location:Northern Minnesota

Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:40 PM

I say get a nice leaf lard from someplace like Flying Pigs Farm, render it yourself, and live it up.   :biggrin:

View Post


Anything from a place called Flying Pigs Farm just has to be good! :biggrin:

I wonder if they have any left-handed pigs? :unsure:

SB (favors 50/50 lard/butter on the rare occasion he makes pie crust :wink: )

PS: Although my Mother and Grandmother always used 100% lard for pasty and meat pie crusts.

Edited by srhcb, 13 August 2007 - 04:20 PM.


#162 paulraphael

paulraphael
  • participating member
  • 3,028 posts

Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:51 PM

70% butter, 30% leaf lard works nicely too ... gets you more butter flavor.

some interesting lard substitutes are suet, duck fat, and goose fat. you can also use shortening, but i hate the stuff. it's forever banished from my kitchen.

#163 eskay

eskay
  • participating member
  • 194 posts
  • Location:Waterloo, ON

Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:48 PM

Wow, this forum is awesome. It would never have occured to me that one could make one's own lard. :laugh: Please let us know how it goes.

And it's possible the OP just doesn't have any lard around...I know I don't bake nearly enough pies (read: almost never) to justify stocking it.
Kate

#164 Domestic Goddess

Domestic Goddess
  • participating member
  • 1,738 posts
  • Location:South Korea, orig. from Philippines

Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:39 PM

I have never rendered lard before I joined eGullet. Now I render my own lard (have about 4-5 jars), pure white and makes my pie crusts and empanadas so flaky. I also have seasoned lard from my carnitas recipe. Lard, when used sparingly and right, is oh so good.
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#165 Marky Marc

Marky Marc
  • participating member
  • 168 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Washington

Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:02 AM

You guys have got me confused with someone else. I don't know who this lardophobe is but it ain't me. I just have a particular brand of butter that I like to put in just about anything I can. I was wondering if there was some way to incorporate it into the recipe. It's for a tart BTW.
Yeah... no health concerns here. "Healthy" and "dessert" are two words I don't usually associate with one another.

#166 viva

viva
  • participating member
  • 729 posts
  • Location:Houston TX

Posted 14 August 2007 - 05:42 AM

That's a relief :)

Perhaps a half butter, half lard solution would work for you...so you can get the flakiness of the lard and the flavor of the butter. But I will let the pie crust experts answer definitively.
...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

#167 hummingbirdkiss

hummingbirdkiss
  • participating member
  • 1,591 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:41 AM

just an add in here when I want really good lard for baking I go to the Mexican butcher and ask for it ..if I tell this wonderful man I am baking he gives me the best most pure tasting lard I have ever..seen or used...or even rendered myself...(I hate doing that it makes the whole house feel greasy to me I know it is my imagination but it does :raz: )

the cost per pound is less than butter here ..



I love to use half butter/half lard in my pie dough ..I am no expert but it has taken years and years for me to make a nice pie! and now that I do I love to share what I learned!

this seems to be the best ratio for taste....that or rendered goose fat if I am lucky enough to have some of that I will not even use the butter just the fat ...chilled goosefat makes a great crust I think

I think I should bake a pie before work today :wub:

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 14 August 2007 - 08:44 AM.


#168 mikeycook

mikeycook
  • participating member
  • 857 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:03 AM

You guys have got me confused with someone else. I don't know who this lardophobe is but it ain't me. I just have a particular brand of butter that I like to put in just about anything I can. I was wondering if there was some way to incorporate it into the recipe. It's for a tart BTW.
Yeah... no health concerns here. "Healthy" and "dessert" are two words I don't usually associate with one another.

View Post


There are several traditional french pie crusts (pate brisee, for example) that can be done well with all butter.
"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~ Fernand Point

#169 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,627 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:18 PM

Wow, this forum is awesome.  It would never have occured to me that one could make one's own lard.  :laugh: Please let us know how it goes.

And it's possible the OP just doesn't have any lard around...I know I don't bake nearly enough pies (read: almost never) to justify stocking it.

View Post

For those who would like some tips/methods for rendering lard, here are a couple of eGullet sources:
fifi's RecipeGullet recipe for rendering lard

"Rendering Lard, The Topic (merged)"

Some recommendations for finding pork fat: "Where to find pork fat?, where are the fat pigs? (merged topic)"

And some tips can be found in "Suet, what?"

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#170 Marky Marc

Marky Marc
  • participating member
  • 168 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Washington

Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:07 PM

just an add in here when I want really good lard for baking I go to the Mexican butcher and ask for it ..if I tell this wonderful man I am baking he gives me the best most pure tasting lard I have ever..seen or used...or even rendered myself...(I hate doing that it makes the whole house feel greasy to me  I know it is my imagination but it does :raz: )

the cost per pound is less than butter here ..



I love to use half butter/half lard in my pie dough ..I am no expert but it has taken years and years for me to make a nice pie!  and now that I do I love to share what I learned!

this seems to be the best ratio for taste....that or rendered goose fat if I am lucky enough to have some of that I will not even use the butter just the fat ...chilled goosefat makes a great crust I think

I think I should bake a pie before work today  :wub:

View Post

:shock: WHERE WHHERE WHERE WHERE!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?
For the llife of me I can't seem to find lard anywhere in this city!

*correction* I found Armour :hmmm:

Edited by Marky Marc, 15 August 2007 - 12:25 AM.


#171 hummingbirdkiss

hummingbirdkiss
  • participating member
  • 1,591 posts

Posted 14 August 2007 - 06:37 PM

Marky

I live closer to Tacoma and get it at El Mercado Latino (on South Tacoma Way) it is a great store and the butcher is magnificant there...

they have it all the time it is wonderful you just ask for some manteca fresca to make empanada dough

there are several Mexican markets in the Seattle area if you dont want to come south

I will call my friend and pm a name/address as soon as I can

(I am at work now or I would do it sooner)

#172 Pontormo

Pontormo
  • participating member
  • 2,589 posts

Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:21 PM

Wow, this forum is awesome.  It would never have occured to me that one could make one's own lard.  :laugh: Please let us know how it goes.

And it's possible the OP just doesn't have any lard around...I know I don't bake nearly enough pies (read: almost never) to justify stocking it.

View Post

I joined eGullet perhaps too late to recognize fifi's name, but I am beginning to understand at least one of the reasons why she's so missed here. While in the midst of rendering my batch of pork fat, I read her recipe and regret not consulting it sooner. Cf. RecipeGullet or Post 113 or thereabouts for truly excellent instructions.

I may have been far too sleep-deprived when listening to my mentor/supplier explain what to do, but I started without the thin layer of water; for the first 20 minutes I kept the Dutch oven lidded to speed up the process and perhaps did not stir enough.

However, it took a good hour and 45 minutes--or just under--to liquify as much of a 5-lb. block of coarsely ground fat as possible. I double and to some extent triple-strained the results once I had dumped the crackling gunk into a fine sieve. Used heavy-duty paper towels and for the stuff towards the end, a tea strainer.

A small quantity at first seemed miraculously white, so I felt kind of smug--or at least relieved that what initially looked a bit too golden was not going to be pastry material. Fifi's advice makes sense to me now and if I ever do this again, I will work differently and pour out some of the fat early on in the process for pure white lard.*

This stuff I then returned to the Dutch oven with a thin layer of water to get rid of the finer particles of sediment as instructed. However, nothing seemed to alter much, so I poured results into jars and just boiled down the water remaining in the last of the fat I had.

I was disappointed at first because the color was a very faint yellow. :hmmm: Whle I had nothing sticking to the enamel in my pan, I thought something must have cooked and compromised what was supposed to be fat from around the kidneys (it wasn't pure white, though; I ended up with about a cup of cracklings after baking).

YET, I just checked the jars in the fridge and the part solidifying looks quite white. Could be a versatile batch after all! :smile:

*There is someone at my farmer's market who sells lard that I will have to sample later.
"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#173 LaurieA-B

LaurieA-B
  • participating member
  • 625 posts

Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:22 PM

My family loves the lard. My husband, aka mamster, wrote an article about lard that features (with permission) claire797's gingersnaps recipe. They're great. Marky Marc, this article also suggests sources for lard in the Seattle area.

While Matthew uses lard in practically everything, the best use I've tasted was doughnut-frying. The doughnuts are AMAZING.
Hungry Monkey May 2009

#174 Pontormo

Pontormo
  • participating member
  • 2,589 posts

Posted 22 August 2007 - 01:00 PM

Anybody :unsure: ?

So, I rendered even more than a quart, I suspect. Most of it is whiter than any other color, including beige, but even the most pristine jar of fat poured first smells decidedly porky.

Having never done this before, I want to know if this is typical.

I am fine by pork and do plan to use some of the lard for savory cooking, not just pies, whether main courses or dessert.

However, I noticed a comment above about an unpleasant assertive quality of lard in pie and I wonder if it was due to cooking method.

References to "clean" and "pure" suggest that an early first pour of liquified fat might result in odorless :huh: lard w a neutral taste. No?

Edited by Pontormo, 22 August 2007 - 01:01 PM.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#175 alanamoana

alanamoana
  • participating member
  • 2,738 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:08 PM

^^Pontormo, I think your conclusion is correct. In a lot of kitchen processes the first extraction is the best, cleanest, etc. Think olive oil, etc.

I was just reading about gelatin and the same thing happens. You can extract gelatin six times from pig skins, however, the last couple of extractions have much more (undesirable) color and stronger smell/flavor.

#176 sheetz

sheetz
  • participating member
  • 824 posts

Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:02 PM

Pontormo, from what I understand, leaf lard is used because it is less "porky" than the fat from other parts of the animal. What type of fat did you use?

#177 Pontormo

Pontormo
  • participating member
  • 2,589 posts

Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:50 AM

Pontormo, from what I understand, leaf lard is used because it is less "porky" than the fat from other parts of the animal. What type of fat did you use?

View Post

Fat from around the kidneys of pasture-fed pigs which produces leaf lard. Most very white. Smells porky...but obviously I did not use optimal methods in rendering the fat. I haven't tried baking w it yet. I'll find out then whether or not I'm the princess w a pea.
"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#178 Pontormo

Pontormo
  • participating member
  • 2,589 posts

Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:09 AM

Wow, this forum is awesome.  It would never have occured to me that one could make one's own lard.  :laugh: Please let us know how it goes.

And it's possible the OP just doesn't have any lard around...I know I don't bake nearly enough pies (read: almost never) to justify stocking it.

View Post

While I posted after rendering the lard and have been using it for savory Mexican dishes, I made a pastry for the first time this week. Half butter, half lard (total 114 g) and 1 t cider vinegar replacing a little of the ice water.

Yes, indeed, the results were wonderfully flaky. Really one of the best textures I can ever recall short of following the long fold & rest techniques of puff pastry. Also responds very well to re-heating (quiche in this case). The edges browned perfectly, caramelizing less than an all-butter crust, so I didn't have to cover them with foil to prevent burning.

One draw-back: I missed the flavor of an all-butter crust. I could not detect anything porky, though, so I am sure it would be fine w any kind of sweet pie.
"Viciousness in the kitchen.
The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

#179 helenjp

helenjp
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,232 posts

Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:41 PM

I've rendered lard using fifi's method, and also simply cooking it stovetop in quite a large amount of water. It's cold enough in my kitchen this time of year that I can simply lift the solid lard layer off the top of the water, dry it on paper towels, and pack it away.

Doing it this way seems to minimize the porky flavor - I'm mostly using pork belly, and the "defatted" pork is then fried and cooked with beans in the defatted liquor used to render the lard.

I'm with Lindacakes on this - it appears that lard has lower levels of saturated fat than butter, not to mention suet or mutton tallow. Duck or goose-fat, schmaltz even lower. For whatever reason, these fats seem better in pie pastry than suet, anyway.

I've been experimenting with an Okinawan cookie known as Chinsuko - basically one part each by weight of sugar and flour, with 2 parts of lard. Baked at a cookie-ish temperature until lightly browned all through, and crunchy.

A cookie as simple as this naturally tastes of lard. This is not a bad thing :cool: , especially if you rendered your own lard.