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Questions or Comments

Schmaltz for Pie Pastries

Posted by : Blanche Nonken

I usually just make unflavored rendered chicken fat, and save
about a cupful for Thanksgiving dessert.  What (I hear you cry)
would shmaltz be doing in a dessert?!?

Why, pie crust, of course!  

I rarely make pies, usually only for Thanksgiving.  When I do,
it's usually an Apple or Peach (frozen from summer) pie.  Since
T'giving is a meat meal (turkey and all) I figured a couple of
years ago, why not give chicken fat a try?  I have a Shaker
cookbook (recipes from the old American sect of Shakers) that
recommends (no outright recipes) that chicken fat makes a tender,
fine pie crust with no peer.  So I tried it, and the results were

Near as I can tell, rendered chicken fat has less saturated fats
than Crisco or some other similar product; it's thinner at room
temperature, almost half "oil" and half solids, whereas veg.
shortening is a solid, waxy lump.

Use your usual pie crust recipe, substitute shmaltz (no onion or
garlic used in preperation), well chilled, for the shortening.
Handle it less, chill before final rolling, and make the crust as
quickly as you can.  Follow the rest of your pie recipe, and bake
at the same temperature.  If your kitchen is very warm, chill the
pie shell before filling, covering (if done) and baking.
Blanche Nonken - http://www.bigfoot.com/~momblanche
Penn State Master Gardener, County Cooperative Extension
Gardening Questions?  Just ask.
Any opinions expressed herein are my own, unless I borrowed them.
Unsolicited commercial email will be ignored, tossed, and/or
complained about -- and I won't buy anything from you.

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