Butter gives pastry a fine flavor, golden color and a crisp texture. For rich pastries, such as puff or pate sucree, or sweet short crust pastry, where flavor is important, it is best to use butter. Firm margarine can be used to make plain types of pastries such as shortcrust pastry. Some soft mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated margarine can also be used for pastry; check the label and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Use the margarine straight from the refrigerator or easy handling.
Lard gives shortness to pastry but not much flavor so a mixture of equal quantities of butter and lard is often preferred. An exception is the lard pastry used in Chinese egg (custard) tarts served as dim sum.