Lard for a Pie Crust?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by carpenter, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. carpenter

    carpenter

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    Hello all.  I am interested in making a pie crust and some biscuits using lard.  Leaf lard is not available. I'd rather not use the hydrogenated logs that are most common at the grocery stores.  I have access to Mexican style lard. I use this frequently for cooking but it has a good porky taste.  Maybe too porky for baking?  My other choice is to buy what is labeled "pork fat" and render it myself.  By doing it myself I am able to render it with less porky taste.

    Any answers?  Thanks, M
     
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Hey Carpenter, 

    I am not sure how rendering the pork fat yourself would give you a less porky taste? Sounds like you would end up with the same no? I wonder if you could cut the pork lard with something. Suet is another option but it might give you a beef flavor.
     
  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I choose fat for pie crust depending on what I'm making.  For example: Beef suet is great for mince meat pie; Mexican pork lard is great for, wait for it, pork pie; butter for apple pie; and Crisco for most other pies where an "unflavored" crust is desired.

    For bisquits, I determine which fat by the dish thhe bisquits will be served with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  4. carpenter

    carpenter

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    The longer it melts the more flavor it gets.
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    The better the lard, the less "porky" the taste.  You can get very good lard from some carnecerias, and lesser from others -- it just depends on the fat they use initially.  Smelly fat makes for smelly lard; it's largely a matter of where on the pig the fat was.  The guys in the carnecieria make lard (manteca) exactly the same way you are, just in larger quantities.  If the convenience of having someone do the work is what you're after, you can probably find a carneceria with lard as good as yours.

    Leaf lard is lard like all other lard, only the fat comes from very specific areas -- around the loin and/or kidneys.  By the way, best quality suet comes from the kidney and loin areas of a beeve.   

    If you're located in SoCal, Farmer John brand lard is ubiquitous, very high quality, and very mild in aroma and taste. 

    In my opinion good lard gives a cleaner taste than Crisco.  It's my preferred fat for anything where "flaky" is important -- that includes any pie crust and biscuits too.

    BDL
     
  6. carpenter

    carpenter

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm in Boston and can not find any leaf lard this soon before Thanksgiving.  I would have to find a farmer and preorder it.  The fat I usually get is in long strips and if I don't render it too long it turns a solid white.  The Mexican lard has a tan color to it.