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Nov 7, 2006 02:44 PM

for trans-fat free baking pie crust

I usually make the pie crust from Joy of Baking which recommends half butter, half (semi-solid) shortening to keep it flaky. I;ve used Crisco for the latter which I now want to avoid. I know that there is a Trans-fat free Crisco now but it has got bad reports previously on this board, and we don't seem to get it in Canada. I've been reluctant to buy ready-made pie crusts for the same reason.

What would people recommend instead of the usual shortening with trans fats?

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  1. Tenderflake lard is now non-hydrogenated, although apparently their premade pastry products may still contain trans fats.

    I haven't ever baked with lard or shortening so I can't vouch for the results in your recipe.

    1. Leaf lard (the refrigerated kind, not the hydrogenated shelf-stable kind), or go to an-all butter crust.

      1. There's always butter and lard.

        1. Whole Foods has a no trans-fat solid shortening made by EarthSource? EarthBalance? EarthSomething, anyways. It's in a green box and comes in .25lb sticks. It makes a pretty good pie crust and is quite easy to work with.

          1. I've been using coconut oil, which is the same consistency as Crisco. No trans fats, but it is high in saturated fats, which new reports claim are actually healthy for you because they're not animal-based (or something to this effect).

            Whole Foods carries coconut oil, but you'll find it cheaper at natural foods or health food stores (be sure to buy organic, extra virgin coconut oil, not the processed hydrogenated stuff).

            And don't refrigerate it - I made that mistake the first time, and it turned rock hard. The pie crusts come out great, with a hint of coconut flavour.

            2 Replies
            1. re: FlavoursGal

              I've had good results with both all natural coconut oil and 50-50 coconut and butter.

              The health claims regard medium-chain saturated fats vs. the long-chain saturated fats in lard and butter, but unfortunately the studies published to date have all been sponsored by coconut-oil producers and governments of coconut-oil exporting countries.

              It's a fact that Thais, who consume lots of coconut oil, have relatively low incidence of heart disease.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                And much of the talk about the evils of tropical fats apparently was sponsored by the temperate seed oil producers (soy, cotton, etc).

                I just made a crust using Spectrum, labeled as an organic palm oil from 'small producers' in Columbia. I was quite happy with the result. While it didn't have any butter flavor, it was easy to make, and quite flaky.