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Duck Fat for pastries instead of lard?

I keep kosher, so I can't partake in any part of a pig, which unfortunately includes its lard. But I was wondering if I can use duck fat as a substitute for baking (savoury) pie shells, biscuits and the like. I understand it might taste quite 'ducky', but as a topping for pot pies or an accompaniment to eggs and potatoes at breakfast, I wouldn't mind. What I'm more concerned about is the differences in pig lard and duck lard when it comes to the baking process. Do they break down differently?

asked by Oscar Cadeau 2 months ago

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10 answers 906 views
4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 2 months ago

Well, to tell the truth, duck fat doesn't taste any more "ducky" than lard tastes "piggy!" And yes, you can use duck fat for pie crusts, and still get that fabulous flaky crust that lard is so famous for.
And on a different but related subject, duck bacon is a far better substitute for the porky variety than turkey. Turkey does not have enough fat to make anything that really resembles bacon.

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added 2 months ago

I've never had duck bacon before. I had duck prosciutto before, though, and that's awesome.

731da808 0ee6 4688 813c 05a2a7f1ca9b  16463817 10154453650334385 2720521257626860247 o
PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added 2 months ago

I'm not too experienced in duck fat, but I feel like duck fat wouldn't remain solid enough to perform like lard in pastries that require it. However...D'Artagnan, a specialty meat supplier, says that it can be used in equal measure to substitute for lard in baking recipes. They're biased, of course, but its worth experimenting. I'd recommend just doing a simple biscuit recipe or pie crust, since it requires structure in the fat and isn't too fussy or complicated. As for it having to be savory, high quality animal fats (like butter) aren't going to taste meaty, so duck fat can absolutely be used in sweet baking applications. I've had duck fat cookies before and, while it didn't really improve the product, it certainly worked, and there was not a trace of duck flavor.

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added 2 months ago

Thanks for the pointers. I definitely want to try scones and pie crust before a big project.

6841b3cf e7dc 4ff0 a7bf 3a8d66b9171d  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

What about matzo Brie made with chicken fat as a breakfast treat? One of my favorites!

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Bb3b2c51 1a56 41fd bc12 6bb66dff6e37  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Sounds awesome! I'm going to try that

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

Growing up, I didn't eat pie because my mother's piecrust had no redeeming qualities. Then, I tried a bite of pie at a small restaurant where they used chicken fat in the pie crust. Wow! I never looked back and started to actually make pie, but using lard. I expect rendred duck fat would be great and think I will give it a try now that it is often available for sale.

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Bb3b2c51 1a56 41fd bc12 6bb66dff6e37  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

I have a large canister I'm still trying to get through. A pie would be just the thing I thinK!

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added 2 months ago

David Lebovitz has a recipe for duck fat cookies in his most recent book (Paris Kitchen, page 297 - 98). They are incredible, especially when made with duck fat from his "counterfeit confit," made with gin, juniper berries, allspice, bay leaves and nutmeg. The cookies have chopped dried cherries, Armagnac and vanilla in them. Try them. ;o)

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Bb3b2c51 1a56 41fd bc12 6bb66dff6e37  fb avatar
added 2 months ago

Thanks for the recommendation! I love David Lebovitz, and I'll be sure to give these a try!

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