All-butter pie crust with nonfat yogurt produces incredibly tasty, flaky and tender crust that bakes up beautifully, even without a filling.
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup unflavored yogurt (See discussion above regarding substitutions)
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar and salt on low speed for 5 seconds. Cut butter into 8 pieces (no more) and add to flour. Mix on low speed for about 45 seconds. (I count it off). Whisk egg yolk and yogurt together in separate small bowl and add all at once to flour. Mix on Low speed for about 12-15 seconds. All particles should be barely moistened but not yet coming into a ball. You’re going for a shaggy mess that will hold together if you squeeze it between your fingers.
- Dump dough onto big piece of plastic wrap.. Take the palm of your hand and slide it face-down from the middle toward the side of the pile to smoosh the crumbs together and flatten out the big pieces of butter. Work your way around the pile until dough is smashed into one big flat clump. Fold plastic wrap up around dough, pressing gently to form a smooth round patty approximately an inch thick. You could wrap and chill the dough at this point but I find it unnecessary and even more difficult to roll out when dough has been fully chilled. Besides, I usually don’t have time to wait so I work quickly before the butter can soften.
- Using a well-floured (rub flour into cloth with your fingers) pastry cloth (or large linen-like tea towel) and pastry sock-covered rolling pin, roll out pie crust to a diameter about 1-1/2 inch larger than your pie plate. Place plate upside down on dough and flip dough into pan using pastry cloth to hold on as you invert dough. Peel pastry cloth off dough and carefully fit dough inside pan being careful not to stretch it. If dough sticks to cloth, use a knife to carefully loosen it and lightly dab with flour to repair. Trim crust about 1/2-inch past rim of pie plate and turn under excess so dough is now even with the side of the plate. Form decorative edge as desired. (If dough seems too soft to work with, refrigerate until firm.)
- Wrap well and freeze until hard–about 30 minutes or longer–up to a month.
- To bake without a filling: When ready to bake, remove from freezer and press a piece of aluminum foil snug to the inside of pie crust folding the edges of the foil carefully over the decorative edge to protect from over-browning. Although you could fill pie crust with beans or rice, I much prefer to take a piece of parchment paper about 36 inches long and twist it until it is a long, round snake-like configuration. Roll it into a spiral that looks like a sleeping snake. The spiral should match the inner circumference of your pie plate. Smash it flat until it holds spiral shape. Lay inside foil covered pie crust to keep it from rising up in the middle. (The paper snake is reusable–save it.) Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove paper and foil, push down any bubbles and continue baking 8-10 minutes longer until lightly browned. If crust is stubborn and still wants to rise up in the middle after first 10 minutes, put the paper snake back into the crust for a few minutes to weigh it down until crust is baked enough to hold its shape.
Keywords: butter, pie crust, pie crust recipes, flaky pie crust, yogurt