Better Without Butter?
There's an Organic butter shortage. Where is all the cream going? I have no idea. But neither of my dairy distributors have Organic butter and don't anticipate restocking till fall at the earliest. The real issue here is complex supply chains, but that's a story for another day. This week, my focus was on the more immediate problem: my entire pastry lineup is butter-based. What would I bake without butter? So I dispatched my dad to Costco for a couple cases of Organic butter to hold me over, flipped through oil-based quickbreads recipes on my cookbook shelf without inspiration, and called up E for a pile of pig fat. Perhaps, I thought, I could replace one saturated fat--the commodity Organic butter, produced with cream from the Oregon "Dairy Pool," farms unknown--with another: all that hard-to-sell lard from the pastured pigs. The story below is my first attempt. I made some rookie mistakes, like not adding water to the rendering pans, but despite that ended up with passably neutral lard. That lard did not, however, make passable shortbread. The aftertaste is strange to my butter-trained palate. The texture is too crumbly. Maybe the chocolate chip hazelnut cookies will work better.
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