can anyone recommend a lard substitute for a pie crust?

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16 Comments

betteirene October 18, 2010
So. . .I haven't tried it yet, but I think I'll be playing around with this recipe soon:

http://www.food52.com/recipes/6680_olive_oil_pie_crust
 
luvcookbooks October 17, 2010
betteirene, sugar, interestingly, is not bad for your heart, unless it causes you to be obese. Crisco on the other hand can lead you directly to the emergency rm, and butter and lard are not really good for your arteries. The short, happy life with a lard crust vs a long life with an oil crust is a valid food pickle type of issue but there are two sides to it.
One of my favorite patient interactions occurred in Wisconsin in 1985 (I'm a physician). I was seeing a lovely older woman with high cholesterol. We were talking about diet and she said she and her husband had just been strawberry picking, which seemed healthy from a number of points of view. Then she added that she was going to make a biscuit shortbread with whipped cream. She and her husband looked so happy I had to file it under the "strawberry shortcake can be health food" tab. :) Still like lard, but agree you can't beat butter for flavor.
 
innoabrd October 17, 2010
I'm a butter man. I just think it adds a good flavour, though I acknowledge lard gives a flakier crust.
 
betteirene October 17, 2010
I forgot. . .Oil is another option for pie crusts--I've done in a couple of times over the years when I've been short of solid fats.

But who cares if a pie crust is made with lard, butter, Crisco or oil when the filling is so full of sugar? What's that old saying? "Life is short. Eat more pie." I think I'm going to write that on my refrigerator right now.
 
betteirene October 17, 2010
I do a couple of Julia's recipes--they're mostly butter for flavor and flakiness and a little shortening to help tenderize American flour. I've also used the vodka crust from Cook's Illustrated. I quit buying lard because I always ended up throwing out more than I used--what a waste.

Why do you need a substitute for the lard? If it's because you are vegetarian, do what AntoniaJames suggests and use 100% vegetable shortening. If it's because you don't have, or can't find, lard, but you would like to use it for the inimitable flavor and flakiness it adds to crusts, substitute two tablespoons of fresh bacon grease strained through a paper coffee filter for an equal amount of other fat, and reduce the salt in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon.
 
AntoniaJames October 17, 2010
You can't substitute butter for lard one to one because butter is about 80% fat, 20% liquid. The correct ratio is one cup + 3 tablespoons of butter per one cup of lard. I'd probably just to find a recipe that calls for butter and/or shortening. If you want to use all vegetable shortening, you can substitute one to one because both are 100% fat. ;o)
 
luvcookbooks October 16, 2010
all butter, altho both butter and Crisco are worse for your heart than lard.
 
phyllis October 16, 2010
I usually use all butter in my pie crusts, but a friend, who is an amazing baker, sent me a recipe that calls for lard. I may make two; one with each. Thanks everyone.
 
tinarina October 16, 2010
All butter. I think shortening is an evil product that adds an off flavor. Your pie crust will be easier to work with if you use slightly more butter than you would another fat.
 
whowantsdinner October 16, 2010
I always go with a combination of butter and shortening. I'm not sure the exact ratio, but something like four parts butter to one part shortening. If you google Julia Child's pastry crust recipes I'm sure you'll find it.
 
drbabs October 16, 2010
I prefer all-butter, too.
 
Serene October 16, 2010
Butter makes a great pie crust. One-to-one sub.
 
pierino October 16, 2010
Geez, I hate vegetable shortening. It's actually worse for you than lard unless you are some PETA freak. Myself, I would buy some leaf lard and render it. I love pigs.
 
phyllis October 16, 2010
Lard vs vegetable shortening: is it a one-to-one substitution? Thanks.
 
Kayb October 16, 2010
I've used butter pretty successfully in pie crust, as well. I actually (heretically, I guess) prefer vegetable shortening to lard.
 
mrslarkin October 16, 2010
Well, there's always Crisco vegetable shortening. But Spectrum brand is "healthier."
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