Butter, Lard, or Both? Pioneer Woman's Guide to Pie Fats

Butter, Lard, or Both? Pioneer Woman's Guide to Pie Fats

Emma Christensen
Nov 23, 2011

Feelings about pie fats run deep. There's the all-butter camp and the all-shortening camp. There's the camp that likes to combine the two and the small but vociferous camp that champions pies made with lard. Pioneer Woman decided to put each of these pie fats to the test in a blind tasting. Guess which one came out on top?

The contenders in this taste-test were butter, shortening, butter-flavored shortening, leaf lard, and because every good taste-test needs a control group, store-bought pie crust. The crusts were tasted plain in the form of the cookies you see above with no pie-filling adornment.

As you could probably guess, the store-bought crust came out on the bottom. But the rest of the crusts had their pros and cons. I'm with Ree in that the biggest surprise was the crust made with all shortening, a crust I make quite often. This crust had great flaky texture but a flavor that Ree could only describe as "blech." I guess the tasty pie filling hides a lot!

It was really revealing to see these crusts side-by-side like this. You can see the different textures in the photos and start to understand why you might want to choose one over another.

In the end, butter ruled the day. Ree said it was "cookie-like in texture" and with a "really good, yummy flavor." Truly, one can never go wrong with anything butter.

What do you use in your pie crusts?

Read the Full Story: Pie Fats Revealed! from The Pioneer Woman

Related: 5 Steps to Master the Perfect Pie Crust

(Image: Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman)

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