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Using Lard in Pastry


claire797
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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.

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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.

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  • 2 months later...

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

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I have a recipe for a dough that calls for lard.

Is it possible to subtitute butter for lard?

Thanks, Marc

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 (log)
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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.

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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 (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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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 (log)

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

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

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 (log)
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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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 (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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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.

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

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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.

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”

 

Tim Oliver

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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:

: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 (log)
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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)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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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.

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

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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
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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 (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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^^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.

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