The Perfect PIE CRUST: Butter verses Shortening: What Wins and Why?
Butter WINS on all Fronts!!
Butter doesn’t contain a significant amount of trans fats. Most shortenings, on the other hand, contain trans fats which are considered harmful because they can increase your risk of heart disease. Trans Fats pack a double punch too. Not only do they increase the LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) which is known as the “Bad” cholesterol, but they also decreases your HDL (High Density Lipoproteins), or “Good” Cholesterol.
We need both LDL and HDL, but they need to be in proper proportions for a great health profile.
Since most people don’t know the difference, let me attempt to make it SUPER simple.
Pretend we have two school buses, one LDL and one HDL.
Both buses are stationed in the liver.
When LDL leaves the station, its job is to bring cholesterol to the cells where it will be used to make cell membranes, hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acids.
It is, provided we don’t have too many LDL buses. Too many LDL buses causes a traffic jam in your blood vessels, increasing the risk of blockages and raising your chances of having a heart attack. Eating trans fats, like those found in most shortenings, can increase your LDL.
The HDL or the “good” school bus basically contains the well behaved kids who work to clean up your bloodstream of harmful “bad” cholesterol that is lingering where it doesn’t belong. In time, the HDL bus comes back to liver where the cholesterol is converted to something useful or excreted. This good “cleaning” reduces your risk of heart disease.
And to be clear, Not all shortenings are the same. We now have all natural vegetable alternatives like Spectrum Naturals Organic shortening which is 100 percent certified organic expeller-pressed palm fruit oil and contains no hydrogenated oils and zero trans-fats. And it is in a naturally solid state at room temperature.
Butter Wins on flakiness. The crusts we made rose nearly twice as high as those made with shortening.
They were lighter, tastier and flakier.
And another tip, when possible, use all natural butter from your local dairy farm. In addition to being fresher with higher nutrient potential, it helps support your local farmers.
If you have questions about where your milk comes from, Log onto www.whereismymilkfrom.com. and plug in the “milk code” (usually 4 numbers like 50-13) that is on every container. It’s fun and educational.
There are multiple great recipes on the internet on how to make a pie crust with butter. So google away and have fun.
Enjoy the holiday season!