Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Much of the flavor of pastry—and much of the pleasure—comes from its fat, which may be a third or more of its weight. But pastry makers often choose a fat that has little or no flavor. This is because the fat must have the necessary consistency for producing the desired texture. Broadly speaking, any fat or oil can be worked finely into flour to make crumbly pastry, while flaky and laminated pastries require fats that are solid but malleable at cool room temperature: namely butter, lard, or vegetable shortening. Of these, shortenings are the easiest to work with, and produce the best textures.