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Incredibly Flaky Yogurt Pie Crust

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Preview: This recipe for an incredibly flaky Yogurt Pie Crust (regular or Greek yogurt) is guaranteed to make your next pie memorable. Mix the dough in a stand mixer.

You need this recipe for a pie crust made with yogurt if…

  • You love a tender and flaky pie crust
  • You often have unflavored yogurt in your fridge
  • You like to make pie crust from scratch

As a young County Extension agent, I made a guest appearance on a TV cooking show at 5:30 on a Saturday morning.

My mission: To show how to make the perfect pie crust. It had to be right the first time through, no retakes allowed. I practiced for weeks beforehand and got pretty good at rolling out a pie crust.

Ever since my 30-minute brush with fame, I’ve been experimenting. This Greek yogurt pie crust is my best and favorite recipe to date.

FLAKY-ALL-BUTTER-PIE-CRUST-WITH-YOGURT

Recipe Inspiration

A few years ago, I ran across a crust recipe in a magazine (remember those?) calling for sour cream in addition to butter. This gave me an idea.

unbaked yogurt pie crust
Can you see the tiny pockets of butter throughout the crust? These carry the promise of extreme flakiness!

What if I replaced the sour cream and water with yogurt?

I tried it and It worked. I think you’re going to love the result!

Why does yogurt make a pie crust flakier?

A bit of research revealed why sour cream is a little-known secret to flaky pie crust. The same principle seems to apply to yogurt.

The acid in the sour cream slows down the development of gluten (the structure-forming protein in flour), which makes for a more tender and flaky crust.”

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

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 increases the richness and encourages browning. 

I don’t totally understand it, but the yogurt seems to work magic. You will be rewarded with a crust that’s full of layers and flavor.

cinnamon sugar pie crust

Ingredients and substitutions

  • FLOUR: Use all-purpose flour, bleached or unbleached. A high-protein flour may cause the crust to be tough.
  • SUGAR: You may leave this out if you prefer. I think it adds flour.
  • SALT: Salt is optional but it enhances the flavor.
  • BAKING POWDER: I’m always tweaking my recipes. After experimenting with baking powder as recommended by the Kitchn, I added it to the recipe. You can’t taste it. True to what the Kitchn says, it does add the slightest lift to the crust and keeps it from shrinking.
  • BUTTER: Be sure the butter is cold. Frozen is good. If your butter is salted, no need to add the extra salt specified in the recipe.
  • YOGURT: 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.
  • EGG YOLK: If you prefer not to use an egg yolk, leave it out and increase the amount of yogurt to 1/3 cup.

Can I freeze this pie crust?

Yes. Freeze for up to 1 month in an oven-safe pie dish. Double wrap to avoid freezer burn.

No need to defrost before baking.

How to “smoosh” the crumbles:

Don’t miss the video showing how to do this.

forming into a ball
Dump the dough onto a big piece of plastic wrap or a pastry towel.
smooshing the dough crumbles together.
Use the palm of your hand to push the dough together starting from the middle to the outside–sort of like pushing the dough crumbles “down off the mountain.”
ready to roll out dough
Wrap and chill the dough for at least 1-4 hours to allow the gluten to relax.

How to roll out yogurt pie dough:

how to roll out pie dough--story board
Use a well-flour pastry cloth and rolling pin sock for easy roll-out.
picture tutorial showing how to get pie dough into a pie shell and look good

How to blind-bake this yogurt pie crust recipe:

Freeze prepared pie crust while you preheat oven to 375˚ F.

pie crust with aluminum foil to hold weights
Cover the pie with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Use two pieces of foil if necessary to cover the entire crust. Press it snugly into the shape of the pie shell.

***Kitchen secret for cheap and handy pie weights:

My favorite is a heavy chain. You can buy it by the foot at a hardware store. No chasing beans or pie weights around the kitchen.

using chain links as pie weights
Fill the pie shell with weights of your choice.
par-baked or blind-baked crust
For a partially baked crust (as seen above), bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the weights and foil and allow it to cool. For a fully-baked crust, return crust to the oven uncovered for another 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

FAQ about homemade yogurt pie crust:

Why does my pie crust drip butter?

Most likely, the pieces of butter were too large after you finished cutting them into the flour.

Just in case…

When baking this pie crust, I always place it on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with foil or a silicone baking mat. The cookie sheet will catch any buttery drips that might otherwise fall to the oven floor and burn. The foil will make clean-up a breeze.

Why is my pie crust tough and hard to cut?

You have likely overprocessed the dough. Another reason is adding too much liquid or too much flour.

Why did my pie crust shrink when prebaking it?

Several possibilities:

  • The dough was overprocessed.
  • The dough was stretched while placing it into a pie pan.
  • The oven was pre-baked at too high of a temperature.



Are you interested in more recipes with yoghurt?


Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating inside the recipe below. No comments required.

Hope to see you again soon!
Paula

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.


Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust

Yogurt Pie Crust Recipe

Yogurt Pie Crust Recipe

All-butter pie crust with unflavored yogurt produces an incredibly tasty, flaky, and tender crust that bakes up beautifully, even without a filling.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cup (150 gr) all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 gr) salt
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon (1 gr) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 113 gr) cold, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (71 gr) unflavored regular yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk (14 gr)

Instructions

  1. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, and salt on low speed for 5 seconds.
  2. Cut butter into 8 pieces and add to flour. Mix on low speed for about 45 seconds. (I count it off).
  3. Combine yogurt and egg yolk all at once to the flour.
  4. Mix on low speed for 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.
  5. Dump the dough onto a big piece of plastic wrap or a floured tea towel.
  6. 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. There should not be any large and visible pieces of butter. If the butter pieces are too large, they may melt as the crust bakes and drip onto the oven floor. Not good.
  7. Fold plastic wrap up around dough, pressing gently to form a smooth round patty approximately an inch thick.
  8. Wrap and chill the dough at this point for at least 1-4 hours. When ready to roll out, allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  9. Using a well-floured pastry cloth or a silicone pastry mat and a pastry sock-covered rolling pin, roll out pie dough to a diameter about 1-1/2 inch larger than your pie plate.
  10. Place a 9-inch pie plate upside down on the dough and flip the dough into your pie pan using a pastry cloth to hold on as you invert dough.
  11. Peel pastry cloth off the 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.
  12. Trim crust about a half-inch past the rim of your pie plate. Turn under any excess dough so it is even with the side of the plate. Form decorative edge as desired. (If the dough seems too soft to work with, refrigerate until firm.)
  13. Wrap well and freeze until hard--about 30 minutes or longer--up to a month.

Notes

How To Blind-Bake (no filling) Greek Yogurt Pie Crust:

When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and snugly press a piece (or two) of non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper to the inside of the pie crust. Fold the edges of the foil carefully over the decorative edge to protect from over-browning. Although you could fill the pie crust with beans, rice, or pie weights, I prefer to use chain-link sold by the foot at hardware stores.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. For a partially baked crust, carefully remove foil and weights, and allow to cool.

If you need a fully baked crust, continue baking the crust (uncovered) for 8-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

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