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Nov 27, 2009 01:51 PM

Help! Making pie crust substitituting suet for shortening???


I'm trying to figure out if the substitution of suet is 1:1 with shortening in a pie crust recipe. I have my recipe (it's the one my mom always used when she didn't buy the crust pre-made LOL!) but it calls for shortening- I'm in the UK and only have suet available. For some reason I'm not convinced that it is a 1:1 substitution. Does anyone know for sure?

I feel like I'm in the eleventh hour here since I'll be making my pies tomorrow AM...ack!

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  1. This should be a 1:1 substitution; they're both hardened fat.

    I believe that suet is basically lard, which is more or less the animal version of what we call shortening here in the States. I'm sure it won't be exactly the same, but it should be a suitable substitution.

    This page: claims that shortening is available in the UK under the names Cookeen, Trex, and White Flora. I'll have to take their word for it. This page also has some info on pie crusts; you may decide suet is preferable after all.

    1. Suet is beef fat. Personally I would use butter instead.

      2 Replies
      1. re: visciole

        Two or three years ago the New York Times ran this article reporting on one cook's experiments with all different kinds of fats in pie crust.

        The author actually liked the suet crust almost as much as the one made with leaf lard. She favored a 70/30 ratio of butter to other animal fat (suet, lard, etc.) I've been making mine with butter and lard in those proportions ever since, with very satisfactory results.

        Hope that's helpful!

        1. re: MsMaryMc

          old post but awesome article, glad suet and leaf lard is somewhat interchangeable

      2. Thanks everyone! I did a 50/50 mix of butter and suet. Unfortunately, the pie crust was a failure : ( Not because of the mix of butter and suet, but because I'm clueless when it comes to pastry LOL! I have now decided that this is a challenge I need to take on and I will perfect the pie crust if it kills me. Just not today. Today hubbie has gone to the store to buy pie crust...

        1 Reply
        1. re: jensunnyside

          No doubt about it--good pie crust takes a lot of practice. But it's so worth it!

          For what it's worth, here's my accumulation of advice and trial-and-error knowledge (I took it as a challenge, too--I've been working at making a really good pie crust for years!):

        2. If you're going to substitute suet for shortening, be sure you buy the sue that does not have the birdseeds mixed in.

          1 Reply
          1. re: John E.

            well unless that's what you want...