How To Store Lard
I traditionally use Crisco in my pie crust, but wanted to avoid hydrogenated oil this Thanksgiving, and so experimented with lard. I was somewhat nervous about it, but was pleasantly surprised by its innocuous color and taste--AND by how very EASY it was to work with the resulting crust, which turned out very well.
I am now wondering whether or not I can freeze the remainder of the lard (in its original container)and subsequently defrost it for use in another pie crust. Or, will freezing somehow alter the texture of the lard, or the texture of future pie crusts made with it? Also, how long will lard keep in the fridge?
I have zero experience with it, exclusive of making the one crust. Can anyone help?
Lard freezes beautifully. I break all my leaf lard down into the plastic Crisco stick containers and freeze. It will last almost indefinately like that, with no change to quality.
Carnitas are wonderful. Get country pork ribs with a bit of bone attached. Bring enough lard to cover to a simmer. Add some orange peel and then cook on low until the pork is meltingly tender. Serve up with warm corn tortillas, guacamole, lime, salsa etc. The left over lard can be reused. Just cool it and refrigerate.
If your lard is not hydrogenated (which is bad), than I wouldn't store it more than 3 months in the fridge. Several sources have said to freeze it for long-term storage.
Plus, for pie crusts and biscuits you want it frozen anyway. In my stick form, it is easy to slice it off frozen. No need to defrost.
re: Becca Porter
i render my own leaf lard and have kept it for over a year in the fridge with no problems. after rendering, just be sure to strain it through a double layer of paper towels. Any little porky bits left in it might cause it to go bad, but pure lard should do just fine. and keeping it in the fridge makes it easer to spoon out and measure for use.
Okay, I found the recipe, which I hasten to add comes courtesy of claire797, an online friend from my egullet days. Bring a batch of these to a cookie exchange and watch them disappear. The texture is amazing thanks to the "secret" ingredient!
Ginger Molasses Snaps (aka Lardsnaps)
1/2 c. plus 2 tablespoons lard
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 T. ground ginger
1/2 T. cloves
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg -- fresh if possible
In large bowl, cream the lard with the sugar; add the eggs and molasses and blend well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat them into the molasses mixture. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375. Roll dough into one-inch balls. Roll dough in crystal sugar or granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the outsides of the cookies are crackly looking. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.