When Julia Child mastered the art of French cooking, she sautéed her way through pounds and pounds of butter. Mastering the art of down home cooking requires a few tins of Crisco. The 100 percent vegetable shortening product is white gold for the Southern chef frying up juicy chickens and baking flaky pie crusts.
Crisco traces its roots to two sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris. Their marriage to entrepreneurs William Procter and James Gamble in the 1800s led to a successful soap and candle business partnership that eventually expanded to include animal lard.
Procter & Gamble introduced Crisco in 1911 as an alternative to animal fats and butter, tucking a recipe booklet into the packaging and sending home economists around the country to set up cooking schools focused on using the new product. A century later, it remains a pantry staple for American cooks.
Here’s a five-ingredient recipe for light and flaky biscuits.
Baking Powder Biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- ¾ cup cold milk
Stir together dry ingredients with a fork. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small crumbs. Stir in milk, just until moistened and beginning to ball together.
For perfectly shaped biscuits, roll out dough to ½” thickness and cut out 2” diameter biscuits. Or divide dough into six equal portions and pat together into loose balls.
Place biscuits onto ungreased cookie sheet and brush tops with additional milk. Cook in 450 degree oven for 11-14 minutes, until tops are slightly golden. Makes six large biscuits.