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Baking pies in Nice- Any advice on finding lard or shortening?

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ms.jean Feb 22, 2014 01:11 AM

It's been such a treat to have such a great community of cooks to learn from as I've adjusted to cooking and baking in Nice. I'm a bit stuck, and I hope this group can help.

I'm baking pies for my husband's birthday party in a few weeks, and crusts require a mix of butter and lard. I can make due with shortening if need be. Any ideas about where I could find either lard or shortening? I thought about asking at a butcher shop, but before I try out my still rudimentary French I figured I'd see if there were other options.

Thanks!

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    Ptipois RE: ms.jean Feb 22, 2014 06:16 AM

    Go to a charcuterie, and ask "je voudrais du saindoux, s'il vous plaƮt".
    Some big supermarkets might have saindoux right next to the butter section, or sometimes in the pork section. But I doubt that would be readily available in Nice. A charcuterie is the safest bet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ptipois
      mangeur RE: Ptipois Feb 22, 2014 07:56 AM

      Yes! At home, I go to Mexican butchers who sell fresh lard, a by-product of fried pork skin and carnitas. It has superb fresh and ever so slightly porky flavor you can't get with commercial lard or shortening. Heaven with apple pie.

    2. t
      tmso RE: ms.jean Feb 24, 2014 03:24 AM

      Make a trial pie crust with French butter, to see if you really need lard. Compared to US butter, French butter has less water (more fat). One way you can adapt a French recipe to US ingredients is to use half butter, half shortening or lard. So in terms of water to fat ratios, French butter should be fine.

      The other difference is that French butter has a stronger flavor. If you're happy with a buttery taste in the crust, your pie should be fine with only butter.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tmso
        ChefJune RE: tmso Feb 24, 2014 12:25 PM

        I was about to suggest exactly that. But since I really do love the flavor of lard in pie crusts, I'd try asking at a charcutier.

      2. m
        mbcraw4d RE: ms.jean Mar 2, 2014 04:16 AM

        If you really want Crisco-esque stuff, you could buy Vegetaline, sold near the margarine, but I've never tried it for pie crust. I generally just use butter.

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