Jessica Reed is a writer, baker, artist, and historian obsessed with the history and culture of cake. She is the author of The Baker’s Appendix (Clarkson Potter, 2017) and just left the North East Coast after 15 years for the North West Coast. She is happy to still be baking at sea level.
For years, bakers have turned up their noses at Crisco as a cheap imitation of butter. But because of its high melting point and high burning point, vegetable shortening can pull off some tricks that are hard to do with oil or butter.