Why use Lard instead of Crisco shortening in pie crust pastry?

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11 Comments

Jan W. September 1, 2015
If you pass it through a sieve or a fat separator first, you can easily use bacon/pork drippings or even chicken fat (schmalz in Yiddish) to make pie crust pastry. Of course, anything that derives from a smoked product I would avoid in pastry for fruit or dessert pies, but for savory pies it would be a subtle yet substantial flavor boost, and it will make flaky pastry if it is cold when incorporated.
 
Maedl May 27, 2014
I will weigh in on the side of lard as well. It produces a tender crust that is crisp and flakey with a rich, almost nutty flavor. The mouthfeel is somewhat different than Crisco, but not in a bad way. I also agree that grocery store lard is not what you want. I get mine from an organic butcher and it is the best of the best. In the US, I find good lard at meat stands at farmers' markets.
 
mainecook61 May 26, 2014
Lard makes wonderfully flaky pie crust and biscuits. However, the brick sold in the supermarket is likely to be hydrogenated, which isn't so good. The thing you want is real leaf lard, pure rendered fat that comes from around the hog's kidneys. I've seen it at a farmer's market, but I am unsure where else you would find it. It is easy to render yourself (that's what I do), but you'd have to find a butcher who sells it.
 
Sam1148 May 26, 2014
This. It can be hard to find leaf lard that isn't hydrogenated. Most of the time you purchase lard it's just as whipped as Crisco and higher fat.
That said--try looking into all butter pie crusts.
 
Susan B. August 31, 2015
You can buy it on Amazon, its pretty spendy tho.
 
Smaug September 1, 2015
Mexican groceries are a pretty good bet.
 
luvcookbooks May 26, 2014
Once you make a lard crust you will know the answer to this question and you will never go back. Nothing is as delicately flaky as lard. Lard also makes a great biscuit. You can add a proportion of butter if you would like the butter flavor as well. Recent work suggests that lard is healthier than butter (!) and both are healthier than Crisco.
 
trampledbygeese May 26, 2014
There are people out there who believe that Crisco is healthier than lard, and others who believe the opposite. Personally I'm the latter, but there is a lot of research supporting both sides.

In theory they are interchangeable...however...

My personal preference is lard. I like the flavour and texture better. On top of that it's been used - in many parts of the world it was the only source of oil and fat - by humans for thousands of years with very little harm. Have a look at the works of Sally Fallon for more info on lard vs vegi shortening... particularly the first part of Nourishing Traditions. Very interesting. You may never use crisco again.
 
Alexandra V. May 26, 2014
Lard doesn't have the partially hydrogenated fats that crisco has, so basically its less processed and more natural, its also crazy delicious when used it the proper proportions. To this day my mom swears by butter flavored crisco, and I have heard of people having quite a bit of luck with a butter and cream cheese combination in pastry.
 
Stephanie G. May 26, 2014
I haven't used it in a pie crust but I think it's more flavorful and better texture.
 
pierino May 26, 2014
Yes, it tastes better. Don't be afraid of it.
 
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