Homemade apple pies amongst an Autumn season setting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on November 14, 2021. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Butter Vs. Shortening: Which Makes A Flakier Pie Crust?
Pies are the perfect dessert for almost any occasion, but the crust is one of the trickiest parts, and while butter is the most popular fat to use in pie crust, alternative fats can seem appealing if you've had no luck with the traditional formula. Shortening is a popular old-fashioned fat used in pies, and you may wonder if it's better than butter.
When it comes to flavor and fluffiness, numerous taste tests say that butter is actually the superior fat for pie crust. According to Taste of Home reports on an experiment where the same crust recipe was made with lard, shortening, and butter, and taste testers voted butter into first place, with lard in a distant second.
King Arthur Baking explains that butter has a higher water content, which evaporates between layers of dough and causes it to puff up, creating a light, flaky crust. Shortening actually makes for a crumblier crust, but it does hold its shape well, so if you're making a design out of your crust, a combo of butter and shortening may work well.