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Cover: Founding Flavors

Recipes with Pate Brisee

10Oct 12

Viva la Lard!

Bread flour, cake flour, lard, eggs, butter…wait… LARD!?  That was my brain processing the ingredients listed to make a type of pie dough known as Pate Brisee.  And, while I kept reading through the recipe, all I kept thinking about was this sinful, dirty, little, four letter word that made me feel like my jeans were getting snugger by the minute just by looking at it on the page.  Why LARD?  This is the year 2012 for heaven’s sake!!!  Isn’t there some sort of organically infused substitute!?

And so the internet searching began as I frantically looked up substitutes for lard.  But, as I kept reading I found some interesting tidbits regarding the use of lard in baking.  Most surprisingly to me was that lard is actually not as bad as I had originally thought!  That’s right, in fact, when compared to butter it actually contains less saturated fat and cholesterol.  And, for those who cannot consume lard for dietary or religious reasons, one could use a beef equivalent known as tallow.  Aaaamazing!

So, I decided to put my snobbery blobbery aside and venture off to the grocery store to buy some lard.  There was vegetable shortening, margarine, butter, but I could not find lard, at least not the non-hydrogenated kind, which is suppose to be healthier because it is free of trans fats.  Sad and lardless, I returned home and decided to attempt to make pate brisee sans the lard and instead only use butter.  For the filling, I cooked golden delicious apple slices in sugar, cinnamon, and cognac.  The result was very tasty and the pie crust was light but I couldn’t help thinking about the lard and the effect it could have had on my baking.  Where was it now?  Had someone else found it and taken it home?  And so I did what any other individual living in the twenty-first century would do.  I found a gourmet shop online to sell me what has been booed and shunned for so many years and managed to pay a premium price!  As soon as it arrives, I’ll be sure to try it out and let you know how much of a difference it really makes.

As an aside, during my searching I found a useful link on the King Arthur’s Flour website that breaks down the various fats (butter, margarine, shortening…and, yes, lard).  I found it to be a particularly interesting and comprehensive read and want to highlight it for you:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/fats.html


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