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Home » How To Make a Flaky Greek Yogurt Pie Crust (+Video)

How To Make a Flaky Greek Yogurt Pie Crust (+Video)

Preview: This recipe for an incredibly flaky Greek Yogurt Pie Crust 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 Greek yogurt in your fridge
  • You like to make pie crust from scratch
FLAKY-ALL-BUTTER-PIE-CRUST-WITH-YOGURT

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: 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 if I do say so myself.

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.

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?

Well, guess what? 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

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    Substitutions

    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.

    If you don’t have or want 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. 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 pie crusts:

    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 dough was pre-baked at too high of a temperature.

    Recipe notes:

    I am 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.

    More recipes containing yogurt


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      Did you enjoy this recipe? You can help others (and me) by leaving a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. No comment required. Thank you.

      Hope to see you again soon!
      Paula

      p.s. Questions? Email me: paula at saladinajar.com.


      Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust

      Greek Yogurt Pie Crust Recipe

      Greek Yogurt Pie Crust Recipe

      All-butter pie crust with unflavored Greek 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 (5 ounces) all-purpose, unbleached flour
      • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) cold, unsalted butter
      • 1/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
      • 1 egg yolk

      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. Add 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.
      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

      Did you make this recipe?

      Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


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        Connie

        Friday 27th of March 2020

        I have made this several times, and it is delicious. Where is the video on how to smoosh the pie crust on the plastic wrap? After smooshing, how do you get it into a nice ball? Thanks for helping me save money by making my own pie crust.

        Paula

        Saturday 28th of March 2020

        Oops! Looks like I was planning to do it and completely forgot. Moving that to the top of my to-do list.

        Connie

        Monday 24th of February 2020

        Could this recipe be doubled to make a two crust pie? Or should I make two batches. I made this a while back, and it was delicious. Thanks for sharing.

        Paula

        Monday 24th of February 2020

        I have tried it and decided I would just make 2 batches next time because it seems to turn out better when I make the batch twice instead of doubling. I'm not sure why. Doesn't make sense to me. I may try it again.

        Kelly

        Wednesday 25th of December 2019

        What why..... This is my go to recipe.. so sad please repost soon!! Thank you for sharing amazing recipes!

        Kelly

        Thursday 26th of December 2019

        Thank you for reposting the recipe!

        carl bryan

        Friday 8th of November 2019

        I read one comment that mentioned making cookies from pie crus......did not see that anywhere in this article. I love the idea of keeping lettuce in glass jars & sealing. I eat more salads now.

        Paula

        Sunday 10th of November 2019

        I've never heard of pie crust cookies but you could easily use the pie crust dough and cut out "cookies" with a cookie cutter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake. Invite me over to eat some.

        Glad to hear you are eating more salad. The vacuum-pack technique did the same for me.

        Revital

        Sunday 20th of October 2019

        Dear Paula. I like the recipe but I would like to make it with non fat yogurt. Do you know what the nutitional values of the fat, protein, energy, etc might be if i use low fat yoghut? Do you know how I can calculate this? Perhaps you can direct me to a website that calculates this? Thank you very much.

        Paula

        Monday 21st of October 2019

        You might take a look at Nutritionix. https://www.nutritionix.com/consumer