Sunday, 26 January 2014

apricot petite fours with lard pastry

i've noticed quite a few recipes lately where lard rather than butter is used in pastry making so i decided to make some to see what it's like..i didn't want to use commercially produced lard so i enquired at my local butcher and he very kindly gave me a jar of lard that he'd rendered himself to use in prosciutto making..before making the lard pastry i looked into lard's qualities and i found that relative to butter it is nutritionally superior..even though i learned this i was still a bit tentative and squeamish about it but despite feeling this way i used it to make both a savoury and a sweet recipe..even though i was very skeptical about using it in a sweet recipe, interestingly, this is where i felt it really shone..the pastry was lighter, flakier and crisper than when made with butter and it stayed that way for longer..

apricot petite fours with lard pastry
tea with hazel

ingredients pastry tarts

150 gms plain flour
75 gms lard
pinch salt
2 teaspoons (tsp) lemon juice
ice cold filtered water
apricot jam

ingredients kirsch creme patisserie

300 mls organic unhomogenised milk
3 egg yolks
50 gms sugar
20 gms plain flour
20 gms cornflour
1/2 vanilla pod
3 tsp kirsch


glace apricots (see here for recipe)
apricot glaze (made by reducing the sugar syrup used to glace the apricots)

method pastry tarts

~ place flour, lard and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs
~ add lemon juice and, using the pulse function, add water incrementally until the dough just begins to cohere
~ remove mixture to a lightly dusted bench and knead gently until it forms a ball
~ wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to use
~ roll pastry to approximately 2mm thick and cut 12 circles with a 7 cm cutter
~ press pastry gently into paper case lined muffin tray with medium size holes (5cm base)
~ prick bases of pastry cases a few times and place foil bean parcels* in each
~ blind bake at 210 deg c for 12 minutes, remove from oven and take out bean parcels, and then place a small teaspoon of apricot jam in each pastry case
~ reduce the oven temperature to 200 deg c bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and the jam has melted
~ remove from oven and leave to cool for about 30 minutes before removing tarts from paper cases

method kirsch creme patisserie

~ split the vanilla bean and place it in a saucepan with the milk and heat until almost boiling and then remove from heat
~ remove vanilla bean and scrape seeds into hot milk
~ mix sugar with egg yolks, sift in flours, and mix well
~ add a little of the hot milk to egg mix and mix well
~ continue adding milk slowly to egg mix while mixing until incorporated
~ sieve mixture back into saucepan and cook until thick
~ remove from heat and mix in kirsch
~ transfer creme patisserie to a bowl, cover surface with cling film, and leave to cool

petite four assembly

~ place a large teaspoon of kirsch creme patisserie in each apricot tart case
~ top with a glace apricot cut side down and pour a teaspoon of apricot glaze on top
~ place each petite four in a fresh paper case

note: * to blind bake the tarts place 2 teaspoons of beans in 8 cm x 8 cm squares of foil and twist the top to create little parcels

would you consider using lard in pastry or biscuit making instead of butter?


  1. These look delicate and delicious Jane. I have not cooked with lard before, you are always cooking something interesting!

  2. I have a bit of a love affair happening with lard at the moment - my favourite so far has been the lardy buns I made last year. These pastries look and sound divine, bet they tasted amazing!

    1. thanks celia..i remember when you made those lardy buns but i forgot about them when i was considering using lard in baking..what other things have you made with lard celia? x