What’s a kosher substitute for lard in pastries?

I’ve got another question for you. Someone sent me a cake frosting recipe recently, and it included Crisco. I thanked her for the recipe, but said that I wouldn’t use that one because Crisco isn’t food. Then she pointed out something I never thought of: It’s kosher.

Well how about that. An actually good reason to choose Crisco over lard.

But then I thought to myself, “You know, Self … I’m sure Jewish people made pastries before the invention of Crisco. What did they use?”

Well that’s a very good question, Self. (Thank you, Self.) But I have no clue what the answer is.

So how about it, any Jewish bakers out there know of a good, kosher substitute for lard in pastries?

UPDATE: I got this via email and thought I’d share:

Goose Fat.

Do it yourself with a Kosher goose:

You can special order it from a kosher butcher. It is easy to render. Cut the fat and skin and a bit of meat off – cut into small pieces place in simmering water and then, well, you render. When the water eventually boils off watch carefully and remove from heat when the cracklings turn a light golden brown – they will continue to cook. Jews in Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia were famous for their goose cracklings (teperto” in Hungarian). They are great hot, or you can store them in the fat.

As well, if you for some reason want to make a puff pastry for vol-au-vent or to wrap something for baking, and it’s meat – the goose fat can be used to make the puff pastry, much better than margarine. Just follow the directions in a decent recipe and substitute the rendered goose fat for the butter.



Thanks, Michelle!

Oh, and as mentioned in a comment below, let the goose fat cool in the fridge overnight before trying to use it for pastry.