Lard Pastry Crust

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

Related Post Roulette

48 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    Make sure to enjoy your lard with a 96 oz Coke.Report

  2. greginak says:

    In parts of Alaska natives make Eskimo Ice Cream. It used to be animal fat with berries. Now that use canned fat or Crisco.Report

  3. wardsmith says:

    Jason, I think this might be your oil recipe. Seems deceptively simple but looks like the one in my classic 1954 Betty Crocker Cookbook (with the red white checkerboard cover and the drawings of the perfect 50’s Stepford wives inside). When I’m feeling particularly masochistic, I do the lard recipe you’ve outlined above with Crisco’s butter shortening. When I get back from my trip I’m going to treat myself to my homemade rhubarb pie with fresh rhubarb out of my garden. We’ve had a very wet and cold Spring, in fact we’ve renamed this month Juneuary.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to wardsmith says:

      I’ll have to try it, you may be right. The 1/4 tsp of baking powder rings a bell, but when I earlier tried to duplicate the recipe, I hadn’t been using any.

      Funny how I’d searched the Internet so many times and not found it.Report

    • Miss Mary in reply to wardsmith says:

      The rhubarb in my garden is going crazy this year. I just keep giving it away because I’m terrible in the kitchen. In fact, I made an embarrassingly ugly cake today that wouldn’t even be edible if my sister and mother weren’t around to make sure I didn’t burn down the house.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Miss Mary says:

        I’d give a pretty penny to have some of that rhubarb. our garden isn’t that sophisticated.
        Do deer eat rhubarb?Report

      • Plinko in reply to Miss Mary says:

        Miss Mary, truck some on down South for me, would ya? I can only find it sporadically here and, when I do, they charge $5 or $6 a pound! When I lived up North you couldn’t give it away because it’s everywhere.

        Important factoid about Rhubarb: The plant cannot be killed short of capping where it grows with something like a layer of concrete. Anything else you do will only make it angry. Do not plant it anywhere you might wish for something else to grow in the future.Report

        • Miss Mary in reply to Plinko says:

          Where were you and Kimmi last week when I brought a ton of it into work last week and gave it all away? Ugh, I should probably just learn to eat it.

          Good to know that I will likely never rid myself of this massive plant in my garden. Actually, I have a black thumb and usually every plant I want to grow dies, so I should just be grateful I can’t kill this one.Report

  4. I seem to recall mention of a recipe for brandied cherries…?Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

      Our family recipe goes back to at least 1650. It’s quite simple.

      1 part good bourbon
      2 parts pitted cherries
      1 part sugar

      Substitute brandy if you’d like, reduce sugar somewhat if so.

      Fill a mason jar with cherries. Stir sugar into liquor, pour over cherries, fill jar. Cap and age for at least three months for full effect.Report

      • Fantastic! Thanks, Blaise.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I’ve a similar recipe for plums. The difference is that we take the mason jar and pour in the sugar over the plums and then pour in the brandy.

        Cap it by putting saran wrap over the top with a not exactly *TIGHT* rubber band, but one that stays on.

        When you can no longer see the sugar (takes a few months), you’ve got yourself some plums.Report

        • And now I must wait for there to be decent plums on offer at the store. Because those sound awesome.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

            You can also work this stunt with pretty much any variety of fruit. Excellent liqueurs and garnishes can be made with fruit, sugar and a good grade of vodka. I currently have raspberries and wild strawberries on, as well as last year’s cherries.

            I would second Jaybird’s approach to the sugar: you must strongly resist the urge to open the jar for at least several months.Report

            • Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

              I have never eaten wild strawberries. I am jealous.Report

              • North in reply to Kimmi says:

                I have, they are tiny tiny tiny little things but they contain in their little bodies all the taste of an entire field of domesticated strawberries that was struck by lightning.Report

              • Miss Mary in reply to Kimmi says:

                Little Oregon strawberries are the *best*. Almost anyone can grow them around here and are my favorite summer treat. Sometimes I go visit my mom so I can stroll through her garden and eat strawberries all afternoon.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders says:

            While we are on the subject, there is nothing like a peach preserved in light rum and sugar, or kumquats in vodka. The kumquat makes a liqueur which puts Grand Marnier to shame.Report

            • damon in reply to BlaiseP says:

              In the same vein, I make two types of flavored drinks:

              Lemoncello–Vodka, Lemon rind, sugar. It’s excellent chilled. Thinking about putting it with some carbonated water as an adult summer beverage. Google Limoncello. Easy as pie.

              Cranberry Cordial: Gin, Fresh cranberries, sugar. You have to use a blender/food processor to chop the cranberrys and let me soak in the gin for several months, then strain via cheesecloth, but the color is wonderfull.

              Moderate the sugar for both drinks to your preferences. I’m enjoying the Lemoncello with less than 50% of the called for sugar and am working on lowering it further, due to the calories.

              Both make excellent holiday gifts.


              • Miss Mary in reply to damon says:

                That is so funny! I make Lemoncello every year for holiday gifts. It is incredibly yummy. I let it soak for 90 days, or try to anyway.

                I’m going to have to try the gin. It sounds delicious.Report

  5. Mrs. Likko says:

    Jason, thank you! I had requested this recipe and you’ve been kind enough to submit it, so time to get the lard (and friends) from the fridge to the freezer. A household sans lard is not one I care to dwell in.

    And a brandied cherries recipe too?! Life is good. I’m thinking of a power-combo. However, Burt, just infused bourbon with bacon… so any ideas as to what I could make with that? My speciality is bourbon breadpudding cupcakes, but I fear the bacon may be too strong a contender. Hmmm, maybe bacon bourbon french toast? Oh dear, I’ve just drooled all over the keyboard. Gotta clean this mess up. Later!Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Mrs. Likko says:

      As to the marriage of bacon and bourbon, you can use the bacon whenever a French recipe calls for lardons.

      American bacon is fat enough that it works perfectly well as an enrichment for any meat, and the smoky and bourbon flavors do wonders for traditional French recipes. It’s not exactly traditional, but it’s very, very good. Burgundy beef is a standout here.Report

  6. Boegiboe says:

    I am just so, so happy I live in the same world as you people.Report

  7. Plinko says:

    Thanks, Jason. I will try this next time I’m making a pie.

    I’ve always used a food processor to mix fat into flour – I figure the faster time makes up for any heat from friction on the blades, but I’ve never tried a pastry knife, does it make a big difference?Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Plinko says:

      my kitchenaid gets better results than my patience with two knives.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Plinko says:

      I’m not sure whether it would make a difference. The thing you’re definitely after is an even blend. I am unsure whether the texture (fluffy or compacted?) matters very much, or how it might differ between the two methods. I’ve never tried using a food processor for this before.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Plinko says:

      I suppose the food processor might be okay for the first pass, where you’re just going for the fine crumble. The second pass, where you’re trying for the larger pea-sized bits, I’m not sure it will work well.

      The aim of the second pass is to create thin, discrete sheets of lard, thus making a flaky crust.

      I have a simple wire pastry gadget I’ve used for years, works just fine and doesn’t take long.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

        being jewish, I use shortening. the mixer does well, if you’re careful.
        as always, this is HIGHLY humidity dependent. Water ratios change rapidly.Report

  8. Rose Woodhouse says:

    Brutally and cruelly, the supermarket and the Whole Foods near me no longer sell lard. When will this madness end? Maybe the next generation. My husband ordered some Chinese broccoli from a restaurant and was eating it. He mentioned it was cooked without fat but it was still good. He asked my son if he wanted a bite. My son said, “If it doesn’t have fat, I’m not eating it.” That’s my boy!

    I LOVE 1950s cookbooks. I have a great one of Jewish cooking. The Jewish recipes are totally authentic and awesome and unreconstructed. Bring on the schmaltz! The American recipes are hilarious. The main ingredient in chicken cacciatore after chicken is ketchup.Report

  9. damon says:

    Lard always makes a good flaky crust. 🙂Report