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A Pie Crust Without Vegetable Shortening

I live in Spain and cannot get vegetable shortening (Crisco or Spry). Do you have a pastry recipe for single and double crust pies that does not use shortening?

Many people also use butter or margarine in their crusts. Unlike lard and vegetable shortening, which are 100% fat, butter and margarine are around 80% fat, so you have to boost the amount of fat in your recipe by 20% to get the right ratio relative to the other ingredients. In using butter and margarine, you're also adding a certain amount of water to your crust, so you may need to cut back on another liquid specified in the recipe. A crust made with only butter or margarine will turn out less tender and flaky than one made with lard or vegetable shortening.

Lard and vegetable shortening are also used in pie crusts because they have a higher melting point than butter, so they are easier to work with and don't require you to be as obsessive about keeping the dough cold. Vegetable shortening, in particular, does nothing for the taste of your crust, however, so many bakers look for a happy compromise of taste and workability by using a mixture of butter and shortening.

If you can't bring yourself to modify one of your existing recipes to substitute lard, butter, or margarine for the shortening, here's a very basic all-butter pie crust.

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