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Q: Pork Pie Pastry
Sun 25-Aug-13
10:07 am
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JohnT
Cape Town, South Africa

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Hi, not too sure which sub-forum this belongs on but the pork pies I wish to make are small and I think, belong in the "snack" category - finger food as such.

So, here is my explanation and question. In South Africa we can no longer obtain lard for the making of a hot water pastry for pork pies - in the past it was freely available and relatively low priced but our clever government banned the sale of it as, they claim, it was a health risk. There are a few other reasons, but I will not go into them here.

So, I wish to make a batch of small pork pies and was wondering if anybody has made the pastry for them using Holsum in place of lard and maybe, adding a bit of butter to the mixture to get a similar hot water pastry to the one using lard?

Any help or suggestions would be most welcome. Even an alternative "lard free" recipe would be appreciated. John.

Sun 25-Aug-13
10:14 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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Not sure if this is possible John, but could you buy a piece of meat for roasting with plenty of fat on it, and after roasting, preserve the fat? (Put through a muslin to remove any 'debris') 

What about duck fat?

I have to admit, I don't make this pastry very often, so not too sure how other fats would work.

If Holsum is oil-based, would it give the pastry the same strength, or integrity? Not sure.

Good luck.

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Sun 25-Aug-13
10:46 am
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JohnT
Cape Town, South Africa

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Val, I have tried to obtain some pork fat to render lard myself, but the pigs in South Africa are really very low fat and all excess fat is removed by butchers for sausage making. Unfortunately, ducks are not very common in this country and are seldom, if ever, found in supermarkets or butchers. In my region they are raised more for pest control in vineyards than for eating.

Holsum is a solid white vegetable fat manufactured out of palm oil and is used in the baking world as a substitute for butter or other fats used to prolong the shelf life of bread and other baked goods. It has no flavour and contains no salt. This is why I was thinking of trying it in the pastry for pork pies. I do believe that some commercial companies use it in manufacturing of puff pastry.

Thanks for your reply but lets see if anybody else has any thoughts on it or an alternative recipe. John.

Sun 25-Aug-13
11:20 am
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Xahha
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If it is a white hard fat, then it stands a better chance of working than butter and other possibilities. I think you can only find out by trying it. If it is not expensive, then all you have to lose is some time and the cost of flour and holsum.

 

Often you can spend more time thinking about something and will it work, when you can actually try it and find out. I am from a food product development background, and it always suprises me that people hesitate to try things out- if it does not work, then you look for something else! If it does work, then problem solved.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Sun 25-Aug-13
2:07 pm
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eileen54
Somerset

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I think it would be possible to use a solid vegetable fat, because I think you can make hot water pastry with trex. it is just a case of experimenting

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Sun 25-Aug-13
3:24 pm
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eileen54
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just found a recipe for hot water pastry on my trex calendar it says to use 100g trex, 150ml + 4 tablespoons of water and 450gr plain flour, and is made the same way as a normal hot water crust pastry

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Sun 25-Aug-13
3:42 pm
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JohnT
Cape Town, South Africa

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Eileen, thanks for that. I am presuming that Trex is basically the same as Holsum - a vegetable fat. We do not get it here but if it is, I will try the Holsum during the next week and let you folk know the results.

Many thanks to everybody who gave input. Experimentation is next.

Sun 25-Aug-13
4:34 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I suggest you join me in France, no natural product is banned, lots of ducks and little government control of what we can buy!
Hope you find a workable solution!

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Sun 25-Aug-13
6:15 pm
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JohnT
Cape Town, South Africa

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Thanks Aly. Unfortunately, it is very hard for a South African to go to any of the Schengan countries, which includes France. However, I did have a six month visa in 2011 and delivered a yacht to Lorient. I then took my time driving to Paris to get my flight back home and had a wonderful time visiting butchers and bakeries in both Lorient and in a number of villages. Very enlightening and enjoyed it. My crew thought I was mad! Ah, the youngsters of today have no sense for adventure and discovery. Maybe they were just too cheesed-off being with me for six weeks on a small yacht. I did the same when delivering a yacht to Nice about four years back. I am off to Grenada in a month so need to experiment with getting my pork pies perfected before I depart on the six week delivery. John

Sun 25-Aug-13
6:29 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I had never realised there were issues with you visiting other countries. I guess we just take it for granted the freedom we have. Whilst it has not been all plain sailing moving to France it was not impossible.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Tue 27-Aug-13
6:04 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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So, is the The Sloop John T then eh?

Sorry, John, just could not resist that. I'm sure it's the first time you heard it too!

sorry 

Good luck with your pie pastry solution hunt. Fascinating. Martin, I was struck by your comment that people should spend less time thinking and more time experimenting. Think that sage advice could be applied to many of life's activities.

And John - what a fascinating line of work you engage in. Bet you have a load of stories to tell. There may be a book deal in there somewhere, or a damn good TV production if you could take a pro cameraman with you. cheers

Never knowingly underfed

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