Make this Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust with Yogurt to set your next pie apart from the crowd. Yogurt is the secret ingredient to the flakiness going on in this crust.
Have you ever opened your oven to find a misshapen, melted or just plain ugly pie crust?
I know the feeling.
My current obsession is to find a better method and/or recipe guaranteed to produce a buttery, rich, flaky and golden-brown crust that is OBEDIENT and beautiful.
While I’m at it, I also want pie dough that handles easily, goes together quickly (preferably not with a fork or fingers) and requires less than an hour from flour canister to oven.
Back in the day…
I learned to make pie crusts from the back of a Crisco can. They were decent–the dough handled nicely and baked up pretty much the way I hoped. But the idea of all that shortening (or my mom’s favorite–lard), is a little scary although I admit to still using it occasionally in bread and cookies.
Not that straight butter is all that much healthier, but…oh well. I think an all-butter crust does taste better and the golden brown color is irresistible.
Looking for a flakey crust that wouldn’t melt…
It all started with a newly purchased cookbook, flour by Joanne Chang. I love her method of mixing pie dough using a stand mixer and adapted my method from hers.
Later, I ran across a crust recipe in a magazine calling for sour cream in addition to butter and I was struck by rare inspiration.
What if I replaced the sour cream and water with yogurt? I was delighted with the results.
Why yogurt makes a pie crust flakier:
Turns out the acidity of the yogurt acts the same way vinegar or lemon juice does in some recipes. The yogurt also replaces water as a binder. A touch of sugar and an egg yolk increase the richness and encourage browning. I don’t totally understand it, but the yogurt seems to work magic and rewards me with a crust I can’t wait to pull out of the oven.
Although I use my own homemade unflavored yogurt, this recipe also works with store-bought regular nonfat yogurt, vanilla flavored nonfat yogurt, and nonfat Greek yogurt. If you use Greek yogurt that is VERY thick, thin it with a bit of milk before measuring.
I asked my sister Kay, a good southern cook, to test my strange, new recipe. She declared it so tasty she could hardly keep her hands off the baked scraps. She was last seen headed for the stationary bike. After making this crust more than a dozen times, that’s where I should be, too.
How to make the flakiest pie crust with Greek yogurt:
How to roll out pie dough:
How to get flaky pie crust into your pie plate:
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If you make this and enjoy the recipe, it would help me and others if you would return to this post and leave a rating (on the recipe card itself underneath the picture). Although always appreciated, no comment is required. Thanks so much! Paula
- 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 Greek yogurt
- 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 prefer to use chain-link like they sell by the yard at hardware stores.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove foil and whatever you're using inside, 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 weights back into the crust for a few minutes to weigh it down until crust is baked enough to hold its shape.
- KitchenAid KSM150PSWH Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - White
- Regency Wraps RW1050 Regency Pastry Cloth and Rolling Pin Cover Set
- French Wooden Rolling Pin 18" x 1.55" for Baking Pizza Pastry Dough, Pie Crust & Cookie - Kitchen Cuisine Utensil Smooth Tools Gift Ideas for Professional Bakers, Restaurants, Grandmas - MR. WOODWARE
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 274 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 85mg Sodium: 142mg Carbohydrates: 13g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 3g
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