When I read the article in the New York Times where a chef tested Crisco, coconut oil and other fats for frying and baking, I was very surprised to hear that Crisco came out on top in just about every test. I'm familiar with how shortening works, so it wasn't the performance that surprised me, rather it was the fact that there was not a crowd of foodies (or at least readers of Gourmet magazine) outside the test kitchen complaining that an all-shortening tarte tatin, which usually has a very buttery puff-pastry base, beat out butter. Butter unquestionably tastes better, especially in such a simple dish, and the only way to really screw it up is if you have a lot of difficulty working with pastry in general. To get a "firm and crumbly" crust with butter, it sounds like the testing chef seriously overworked his dough.
But to get back to the main point, the thing that was really surprising was not the tarte tatin result, but the fact that they didn't consider testing trans-fat free Crisco in addition to regular Crisco. Surely a taste test that pitted this against an alternative with trans-fats would have been more useful to professional and non-professional chefs alike! Crisco Zero has been on the market for about a year and a half now. It's not quite as widely available as regular Crisco, but it can usually be found at regular grocery stores. It offers the same performance - resulting, for example, in a flaky pie crust - but does not have any trans fats per serving. I've used it before with good results and it seems like a potential alternative for chefs trying to reconfigure their recipes to exclude trans-fats.