Does anyone still use jiffy mix? Or know what it is?
It’s another all-purpose baking staple, like Bisquick or pancake mix, that’s meant to be tossed with water, rolled, and fit into a pie plate masquerading as homemade.
There are as many variations on the classic pie crust recipe as there are ingredients in Jiffy Mix, all with the same purpose of creating a tender crust that flakes apart in the mouth but holds enough structure to support goopy fruits or heavy puddings.
Below I’ve outlined the method I’ve use for the past few years, picking up tricks from here and there, I challenge even the most novice pie maker. It holds an extra few steps, but don’t let that put you off. After a couple tries it becomes a quick process that’s easy as…. Well, you get it.
The general rule of thumb for pie crust is that the more moisture there is, the more solid and biscuit-like your crust will be and it won’t achieve those beautiful flaky layers. But the dough won’t be of any use if it’s too dry to roll out. It will crumble and fall apart before it ever reached the pie plate.
The solution? There are a few floating around there, but I’ve found two tricks that result in the perfect crust every time. The first is to add a splash of liquor to the flour, which has a lower evaporation point than water so it’ll help your dough stick together while not making it soggy. A lot of folks recommend vodka, but I don’t add ingredients that have no purpose flavor wise so bourbon is my alcohol of choice (also, I hate vodka). Adding alcohol is completely optional, and you can still achieve a fine result by using water only.
The second trick is to roll out and fold your dough at least once, almost like mock-puff pastry. This helps flatten out the little chunks of butter even more, creating consistent striations of butter throughout.
And speaking of butter, this recipe is ALL butter, baby. The only place Crisco has is in frying cornbread. As with adding bourbon instead of vodka, I strongly believe every ingredient you add into your dish should play some role in the overall products flavor profile. Go with the butter on this one. Salted butter.
Because life is too short for unsalted butter.
(Someone mark this on my tombstone).
Failsale Pie Crust
Yield: 2 single (or 1 double) pie crusts
Prep: 45 minutes
1 ¾ cup flour, split
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup ice water
Optional: 2 tablespoons bourbon
In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the flour with sugar and salt, and cube in cold butter. Pulse until pea-size chunks start to form. Alternatively, you can cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork.
Pour into a bowl, and toss with remaining flour. With your fingers, gently flatten butter pieces into disks. Don’t handle too much though, you don’t want the butter to melt.
Add in bourbon (if using) and then ice water one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork after each addition, until dough just holds together when squeezed between your fingertips.
Press gently into a ball, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
After chilling, place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a long rectangle, roughly 16"x6'“. Fold up bottom third of dough, and fold down the top third creating a neat square. Turn, and repeat the rolling and folding process. Return to fridge and chill completely.
At this point, the pie crust can remain in the fridge for up to 3 days, or the freezer for 3 months. When ready to bake, roll out dough and prepare according to the individual pie’s instructions.