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Looking for a dessert that contains lard

I'm planning a multi-course Italian dinner and I realize that every course includes pork. That is, except dessert, which I haven't decided on yet. So of course now I'd like to find a dessert that includes some pork product, just to complete the thematic circle.

Lard seems the best prospect. Any suggestions? Doesn't have to be lard, either--just so long as there's something porky in it.


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  1. Okay, believe it or not, but I think someone actually asked this same question before... every course included pork and they needed a dessert idea! I've searched but can't find it... maybe someone else will be able to! (Either that or I'm psychic! ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Katie Nell

      I remember this question coming up too- maybe a few months ago?

    2. Does your dessert have to be Italian? Because the easiest — though non-italian — thing would be to do would be some kind of pie with lard in the crust. Though I've also seen some little italian dough balls, and I bet those have lard in them.

      If you're really feeling adventurous, though, I found a recipe for bacon ice cream:

      1. Anything in a delicious lard crust.A crostata, a rustic tart would be great to end an Italian meal.

          1. re: jsaimd

            That's what I was going to say! Buttermilk ice cream with bacon brittle.

            1. re: jsaimd

              The comic possibilities are endless...and don't forget, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...Spam IS made from pork. Something Hawaiian perhaps with pineapple icecream, over fried until crunchy spam slices, sprinkled with coconut and topped with some dark rum and flambe'!

            2. I know Serena Bass has a chocolate cake recipe in her book that's made with lard. She says no other shortening gives the same effect for this particular cake.

              1. What about bacon or prosciutto candy? I imagine it would be just like smoked salmon candy--lots of brown sugar, molasses or maple syrup.

                1. I think there's one in Carol Field's Celebrating Italy. Is it the feast of St. Anthony that's the huge porkfest?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    The recipe I was thinking of is pasticcio di maiale from Mimetta Lo Monte's Classic Sicilian Cookbook:


                    It's a pie filled with a mix of pork, sugar, cocoa, almonds, and candied pumpkin. It was very good in a medieval-ish sort of way.

                  2. I had a very satisfying apricot corn bread topped with bacon chunks and maple ice cream at Le Pigeon in Portland this summer. A nice combo of salty and sweet.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Candice

                      ...drool ... that may be the most delicious-sounding thing I've ever heard.

                    2. There are Chinese cookies which are made with lard. They don't taste the same with any other shortening. Also egg custard tarts which use lard in the flaky pastry. Neither is Italian but perhaps you could find something comparable?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: cheryl_h

                        Here's a link to my auntie's recipe for almond cookies made with lard.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          Thanks Melanie. I've made almond cookies many times but your aunt's recipe with ground walnuts sounds wonderful. There's no substitute for lard in these.

                        2. re: cheryl_h

                          can i get the recipe for that, my mom made them years ago she is gone now and I dont have the recipe..thanks

                        3. One of Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbooks contains a recipe for dessert fritters that are, I believe, fried in lard. She says that no other fat gives as good a result.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Louise

                            yes, I was going to mention that too!

                            Chiacchiere della nonna

                            1+2/3 c. flour
                            1/4 c. lard
                            1 TB sugar
                            1 egg
                            2 TB white wine
                            1/4 tsp salt

                            powdered sugar

                            Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar and knead into a smooth, soft dough. Cover and let rest 15 min. Roll 1/8" thick and cut into ribbons approx 5 by 1/2" Twist into bow shapes, fry in hot lard until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.

                            Another suggestion would be olive oil gelato (I think Mario has a recipe?) with candied prosciutto and maybe a few drops of really good balsamic. For candied prosciutto, make a heavy simple syrup (3:2 or 2:1) and brush it onto both sides of thinly sliced pig. Arrange on a silpat and dry in a low oven - 250F or so until dry. If you have convection, it will go a lot faster. It will be slightly pliable while still warm but will crisp up as it cools.

                          2. Most Mexican pastries, cookies & breads are made with lard. An Anise Sugar Cookie with Fig Jam could jive perfectly with an Italian meal.

                            1. Some older ginger snap recipes call for bacon fat or lard as a shortening.

                              1. go for the bacon brittle!

                                1. Go over to eGullet and search the Southern Food board for "pork cake". Recipe, photos, the works...

                                  1. How about something with cracklings in it? You could make maybe ricotta fritters and slip cracklings into the batter. You could make little amaretti cookies and mix in some cracklings.

                                    There is also an oatmeal cookie that Mennonites make that calls for rendered chicken fat. You could Italian and pig it up by maybe putting in pinenuts or something specific to Italians and instead of chicken fat you could cook up some morning bacon and save back some of that fat and use it in the cookie... any cookie for that matter. Hmmm... yehum! Bacon fat is a great idea for a cookie! OR maybe put it into an olive oil cake. There is an olive oil cake in Nancy Silverton's Pastries from La Brea Bakery book that is awesome. I bet the book is in your library. Sub in maybe 1/2 the oil with bacon fat!

                                    Otherwise... I love the post recommending bacon brittle!

                                    1. Whatever you choose to make, please try to get your hands on real lard instead of using the hydrogenated processed stuff they sell at most grocery stores. It's like the difference between butter and margarine.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: lisa13

                                        It's like the difference between butter and Crisco! Ugh!! Ptui!

                                        For a dessert you really want to render your own lard, unless you know an ethnic butcher who renders it fresh daily.

                                        1. re: lisa13

                                          Try latino/Mexican bodegas for a real lard connection. Or, you could go to a butcher and buy some porkfat and render it yourself.

                                        2. Have you ever tried biscochitos, a traditional New Mexico Christmas cookie? They are anise cookies that traditionally use lard. Delicious!

                                          1. How about just making little personal cakes in little piggy molds? Oinkalicious!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Wanda Fuca

                                              After all of these great posts,I have decided to open a bakery that features sweets made with lard only as the fat source. We will render our own lard 24 hours a day in the back room in huge copper kettles. We will feature bacon brittle,naturally,chicharron chip cookies and all of the other delish suggestions everyone has made ! Any suggestions for a name?

                                              1. re: missclaudy

                                                Hhmmm... how about "Porkin' on Pies"?

                                                1. re: missclaudy

                                                  Well, how about naming it "Pig Out"?

                                                  1. re: niki rothman

                                                    LOL the natural name for the place! Who could resist kettles of lard?

                                              2. You can use lard in pie crust It is I think the best way to
                                                make a pie crust because the lard makes it nice and flakey.
                                                Like in a apple pie.

                                                1. Lot's of traditional Italian desserts were made originally with lard. I'm sure that I have some recipes somewhere.

                                                  1. There's an excellent recipe for Cucciddati, delicious fig and date-filled Italian cookies that are made with lard, at this link:


                                                    1. Thanks to everyone for all the help so far! Lots of great choices.