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Old 03-31-2006, 01:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Debbie
I didn't know that about Lard.. I thought it was a BAD product to use.. worse the Crisco....... soo what do you use for your pie crusts then?
Don't believe everything that you read. Do some research on your own and don't trust all the web sites as having logical and true info. Experts change their views every few weeks. Use what you like for crusts as I am sure you do not eat pounds of it daily.

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Old 03-31-2006, 03:20 PM   #22
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Lard generally gets a bad wrap. But if you look at the chemical components of it, it really is MUCH better than a manufactured product like crisco or margarine.
I use butter, or a combination of butter and lard for my pie crusts, when I make them. I really have concentrated on reducing my consumption of pie crusts. I make crustless pumpkin pie, crustless quiches, even crustless cheesecakes.

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Old 03-31-2006, 04:26 PM   #23
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Health-wise, you should never even have a can of shortening or oleo-margarine in the house. Trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) are poison. If you have no lard, substitute with butter.

They now make both vegetable shortening and margarine without trans fats, but very few people bother to look for them in the grocery store. I have never purchased the margarine, but i do keep a can of the trans fat-free shortening around for greasing baking pans.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:34 PM   #24
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Chinese Cooks (in China) have a neat way with greasing a wok before cooking things like pancakes or scrambled eggs, They use a small chunk of pork fat (which is readily available in Chinese Supermarkets), and rub this over the hot metal surface. This places a thin layer of lard over the surface. So simple if you have access to chunks of pork fat.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:38 PM   #25
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advoca, the best steak I ever cooked for myself involved trimming a piece of fat from the steak and rubbing the cast iron skillet with it before putting the meat in.

good advice from the Chinese cooks.
Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:23 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Caine
They now make both vegetable shortening and margarine without trans fats, but very few people bother to look for them in the grocery store. I have never purchased the margarine, but i do keep a can of the trans fat-free shortening around for greasing baking pans.
I have never seen this... what are the brand names, so I can try to find it :)
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:06 PM   #27
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as someone mentioned, you can substitute nearly any fat for nearly any other fat. however, you can't use the soft margarines that come in tubs because they contain a lot of water. you also can't substitute liquid for solid fats because of how they will affect your product. for example, people like flaky, crispy pie crusts, which are created by keeping the flour/water paste separate from the pieces of shortening. the balls of shortening get flattened into more or less overlapping disc shapesas you roll out your dough. the more the shortening get worked into the flour, the less flaky. if you were to use oil instead of solid shortening, there would be no layers at all. more like cardboard.

as far as biscuits go, it depends what kind of texture you like. if you follow the recipe you wrote and cut the shortening to a course meal texture and then roll out as written, you will get a biscuit with a dense texture. shortening cut to a "course meal" texture will give you a crumbly biscuit, which some people like. however, kneading it next will just make it dense.

personally, i prefer flaky biscuits, so i cut the shortening (i prefer butter) until the larger pieces are the size of peas or smaller beans. when it's time to roll them out, i first quickly and softly pat it out to a small, thick size, cut in half with a scraper, stack, pat, cut, stack, pat out, etc. until i have maybe 8 or 16 layers before i finally roll them out.

crisco is a very soft product at room temp. and will work into your dough too much. for decent results, crisco, butter or whatever you use needs to be refridgerated. this is especially true for pie crusts.

i never use crisco except for greasing pans. it's got no flavor, so of course the biscuits won't be tasty. health issues aside, butter is best though pricy. otherwise use a good quality margarine.

one other point about the recipe: i'd recommend upping the fat content a bit. buttermilk recipes still generally reflect or are actually recipes from our grandparents days. however, todays' buttermilk is not the same product. todays' is a cultured product with a much lower fat content.

otherwise, the recipe is very wrong where it says to knead for a minute. this is a big mistake. add all the milk at once, fold it in quickly but gently with a fork (don't stir or beat with a big wooden spoon) just to where it's mixed in, then turn it out on your floured board. if you work quickly and unless your kitchen is very hot, there's no real need to refridgerate it before rolling. (unless you feel the shortening is getting too soft.) just remember to keep your shortening cold, and don't overwork it. no kneading or beating. as you're working the dough, also consider whether you could still handle it if you increased the milk by a couple of tablespoons or 1/4 cup. as far as biscuits go, the softer the dough, the better.

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