Have you ever wondered how to make a gluten-free, vegan pie crust healthier? This recipe is as simple as hand-mixing the ingredients and rolling out the dough for shaping and baking. There is a secret tip for first-time allergen-friendly pie dough makers—and it’s not about using vegan butter, vegetable shortening, or ice-cold water—so keep reading! This recipe is also nut-free and does not include xanthan gum.
Table of Contents
- How to Make a Gluten-Free Vegan Pie Crust
- Simple Ingredients
- Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- Custom GF Flour & Starch Blend for Pie Crust
- Remaining Ingredients
- Kitchen & Baking Tools
- Easy Steps to Make Pie Crust
- Pie Crust Making Helpful Notes
- Can I Cut The Recipe in Half?
- Pie Baking Times & Terminology
- Comparing The Pie Crusts
- Pie Crust Storage
- Recipe Tips
- JUMP TO GFV Pie Crust Recipe
How to Make a Gluten-Free Vegan Pie Crust
This allergen-friendly pie crust recipe is terrific if trying to reduce the butter or other processed ingredients in baked treats.
If you’re new to gluten-free, vegan baking, this post is long and includes many photos to help you with the recipe. If you’re a baking pro, skip to the recipe, but don’t miss the crust comparison.
Use this easy-to-make crust for a savoury vegetable pot pie or sweet pies like apple pie, pumpkin pie, custard pie, and pecan pie (if not allergic to nuts). A seed-based filling like in the Grain-Free Pumpkin Tarts is lovely for a nut-free option.
Save time by mixing the ingredients, wrapping the dough into a disk, and refrigerating it until you’re ready to make your pie. Otherwise, there’s no need to chill this dough. You can mix and roll it out right away!
When baking healthier gluten-free, vegan and nut-free treats combining the right ingredients matters. Something needs to replace the dairy, eggs, wheat flour and nut-based ingredients.
This easy pie crust recipe includes flaxseed meal (or ground flax seeds to make flax egg), boiling water, pure maple syrup, all-purpose GF flour (without xanthan gum), sunflower seed flour, sea salt and organic extra virgin olive oil. Only six ingredients!
If you don’t have flax but do have whole psyllium husk, use some as an alternative but reduce the quantity to half. The flaxseed meal combined with the hot water helps to keep the dough together.
Don’t forget the sea salt! Adding sea salt in gluten-free vegan dough recipes is important, or the baked goods will taste bland.
Adding pure maple syrup, even in such a small quantity, creates a tastier crust.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
The recipe was tested with a store-bought gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that does not have xanthan gum. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for ingredient substitutions.
If you want to use a gluten-free flour mix such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1, and it does have xanthan gum, you might be able to reduce the flaxseed meal to half or eliminate it altogether. That variation was not tested for this recipe.
Bob’s Red Mill does have a GF flour blend without xanthan gum, but that combination of dry ingredients includes bean flour. If you are not keen on beans or if allergic to legumes, it might not be your best option.
In Canada, Purest.ca produces a great gluten-free flour blend without xanthan gum that includes brown and white rice flour with potato starch. Making a pie crust with rice flour and some starch can make the texture a bit grainier.
Anita’s Organics produces a wonderful all-purpose gluten-free vegan flour blend, but it does contain certified gluten-free oat flour as well as brown rice flour, coconut flour, potato starch, tapioca flour/starch, and arrowroot powder/starch. This blend creates a lovely dough texture that is easier to shape.
Custom GF Flour & Starch Blend for Pie Crust
Print out a copy of the pie crust recipe, then come back here. Use your printout to jot down notes to help you decide which ingredients you will use for your custom GF flour combination. Ask your questions in the comments of the post.
Try the following:
- 65-75% (about 1-1/2 cups/180 g) light gluten-free flour. A combo of 2-3 flours works best (e.i., GF oat flour, brown or white rice flour, millet, sorghum, light buckwheat flour),
- 25-35% (approx. 1/2 cup/60 g) starches. A combo of at least 2 is ideal (e.i., tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot starch, cassava flour),
- plus 1 cup/84 g sunflower seed flour.
- Flour Combo: 1/2 cup (60 g) GF oat flour, 1/2 cup (60 g) light buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup (60 g) sorghum flour,
- Starch Combo: 1/4 cup tapioca starch (30 g), a little less than 1/4 cup potato starch (30 g), and
- Seed Flour: 1 cup freshly milled sunflower seed flour (84 g)
To make sunflower seed flour, it’s as simple as milling/blending organic raw sunflower seeds in a small blender or spice grinder.
Almond flour or almond meal is an alternative to sunflower seed flour if you do not have a nut allergy. Tiger nut flour (not an actual nut) would be an alternative.
Organic extra virgin olive oil at room temperature is the healthier fat in this recipe. A bit of extra good fat comes from the gorgeous sunflower seed flour. Sure, you might be able to achieve a tasty and flaky crust with vegan butter, but this recipe was tweaked to be more nutritious and easier on your wallet. Organic vegetable shortening and vegan butter are very expensive! Coconut oil was not tested for this recipe. Plant milk, such as creamy coconut milk, was not tested as an alternative to the little bit of oil in this vegan, nut-free and gluten-free pie crust recipe.
The rustic Cherry Apple Galette includes GF oat flour, light buckwheat flour and cold butter pieces in the ingredients if looking for another crust recipe.
For this vegan recipe, there’s no need for a milk wash or egg wash to bake the pie. But if making a sweeter pie, the option of brushing the crust with maple syrup towards the end of the bake is optional.
Kitchen & Baking Tools
The basic kitchen tools needed to make the pie crust are a mixing bowl, spoon, measuring cups/spoons, kitchen scale, and kettle (or pot).
A pie dish is necessary for baking the crust, but a springform pan can work too. Unbleached parchment paper or plastic wrap makes rolling out the dough much easier. Also, if baking a pie in a springform pan (9.5 inches), consider lining the bottom with parchment paper.
To create an even and thin crust, a rolling pin comes in handy. Hand-pressing the dough in your pie dish works too.
For a regular 8-inch or 9-inch pie pan, you don’t need to use parchment paper. You don’t even need to grease your pie dish.
You don’t need pie weights.
Easy Steps to Make Pie Crust
Making this gluten-free vegan pie crust includes just a few simple steps. To help, have a look at the many photos in this recipe post.
The process includes hand-mixing the ingredients in one medium or large mixing bowl. You don’t need to dirty a food processor for this dough—yay!
Once all the ingredients are combined and mixed, transfer the dough to a parchment-lined flat working surface, covering it with a second piece of parchment paper and rolling out the dough to a large circle. At least 1 to 2 inches larger than your pie dish. If your pie dish is 9 inches wide, try rolling out your dough to an 11-inch up to a 13-inch circle.
Pie Crust Making Helpful Notes
If making a pie with a top and bottom crust, reserve approximately one-third of the dough for the top crust. You can divide the dough with a large knife or pastry cutter. After rolling out the first crust, save any extra dough for the second crust or decorative leaves.
Transferring the large rolled-out flat piece of dough to the baking pie dish is probably the trickier part of the recipe. Watch the video for guidance.
Pie Crust Transferring Options:
Option 1: Place the pie dish (upside down) overtop the flat rolled-out dough and carefully flip both (dish and flat crust with parchment).
Option 2: Carefully pick up the dough with parchment paper and flip the dough (with paper) into the pie dish.
The crust might break a bit when transferring or peeling off the paper but don’t worry; patching up the dough is easy.
Watch the dough transferring examples in the pie crust & pot pie recipe video.
If making a smaller 8-inch crust (with a half recipe), hand-pressing the dough into the pie dish works too. You can use a small sheet of parchment paper or just your fingers to help spread the dough as thinly and evenly as possible.
Once the dough is in the pie baking dish, trim the excess dough and shape the crust as best you can. Have fun crimping the edges of the crust! Use your index finger and thumb to shape the crust’s edge in a ruffled or fluted style. Some pie doughs will be easier to shape and crimp based on the ingredients in the GF flour blend.
Can I Cut The Recipe in Half?
This pie crust recipe yields enough dough to make a double-crusted 9-inch pie baked in either a pie dish or a 9.5-inch springform pan.
A half recipe creates enough dough for a single 8-inch crust.
Pie Baking Times & Terminology
Once your dough is shaped, crimped and ready to bake, there are a few baking options.
Use these baking examples as a guide. Follow the pie crust recipe instructions.
Par-Bake (pre-baking without a filling): Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, add your filling and finish baking until ready. This method works well for single-crust recipes for pumpkin and lemon pies. Pre-baking a crust could also work well for a double-crusted apple pie to prevent a soggy bottom crust. Partially bake the bottom crust, add your filling and top crust and continue baking. A double-crusted pie is usually ready when the crust is golden and the filling is hot and boiling through vents.
Full Bake (blind baking, crust only, no filling): Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350°F (edges should look crispier and golden). Cool the crust, then add your unbaked filling. Great for pie recipes that don’t require additional baking. Examples would be cream or pudding-filled pies.
Full Bake (with filling): Bake for 55-65 minutes at 350°F with filling. The pie filling should start boiling through the vents once ready. An excellent example of a pie crust recipe you shape, fill and bake with a top crust would be a pot pie. The full baking method works perfectly in the Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie that includes this pie crust recipe.
Comparing The Pie Crusts
Fresh is Real tests many variations (fats, dry ingredients, liquids, binders) when baking to best answer all your recipe questions. Scroll up a bit to see all 3 crusts in the photo above.
Crusts 1 and 3 were the best tasting and had the best texture. The crusts were not crumbly. Ingredients in dough mixture: flaxseed meal (ground flax), boiling water, room-temperature olive oil, and the remaining recipe ingredients.
Crust 2, at the top of the photo, did not have any water. Soft melted vegan butter replaced the water and olive oil in this option. It was good, but the crust was a crumbly mess. The texture of this dough was weird. It was a press-into-the-dish kind of pie crust dough.
Both crusts 1 and 2 had the same GF all-purpose flour mix without oat flour.
Crust 3 was a half recipe and was the easiest to shape due to the flour and starch combination.
Overall, crust 3 was my favourite. The flour blend had GF-certified oat flour with the other flours and starches. Oat flour often makes GF vegan baked treats taste better.
Pie Crust Storage
Enjoying your pie as freshly baked as possible is always best! Many pies reheat well. Pie crusts can get soggy or softer once refrigerated.
I often reheat pot pie slices and don’t mind the softer crust. Time permitting, warming up the leftover pie in the oven or a portion in a smaller toaster oven will taste better.
The storage instructions vary depending on the type of pie you make. A fruit pie should keep a day or two on the counter and up to 5 days refrigerated. Leftover slices of cream or pudding-filled pies do not need to be warmed up but might keep better refrigerated.
I haven’t tried freezing this dough recipe raw or baked.
Tips To Try
Testing Various Oven Temperatures: If you feel that 350°F is too low for your oven, consider increasing the heat to 375°F up to 400°F. A hotter oven temperature could help achieve a darker golden colour and crispier crust texture.
Baking Powder: In gluten-free, vegan baking, GF baking powder can come in handy to improve texture. If you like experimenting, consider adding 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of GF baking powder to the dough mixture, it could help lighten the texture of the crust. Although be careful, as too much could make the crust crumbly, as baking powder contains baking soda.
Acidity: In wheat-based pie crusts, vinegar can be found on the list of ingredients. Next time I bake a crust, I’ll add a little apple cider vinegar or even regular vinegar to see if it improves the texture of gluten-free pie crusts.
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How to Make a Gluten-Free Vegan Pie Crust
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 to 60 mins
- Total Time: +/-1 hour
- Yield: 1 Double-Crusted Pie 1x
- Category: Treats
- Method: Oven-Baked
- Cuisine: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Allergen-Friendly
- Diet: Gluten Free
The perfect healthier pie crust for a sweet or savoury pie! It’s as simple as hand-mixing the ingredients, rolling out the dough (or pressing it thinly directly into the pie dish), shaping and baking. This crust is quick to make, and chilling the dough before shaping is optional. The recipe is gluten-free, vegan and nut-free.
Makes two crusts, enough dough for one double-crusted 8-inch or 9-inch pie. A half recipe makes one 8-inch crust (no top crust).
Kitchen & Baking Tools: Mixing bowl, spoon, measuring cups/spoons, kitchen scale, parchment paper, pie dish (or 9.5-in springform pan).
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (20 g)
- 1/2 cup boiling water (118 g/118 ml)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 cups AP GF flour (240 g), see notes
- 1 cup sunflower seed flour (84 g)
- 1 /2 teaspoon sea salt (4 g)
- 4 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
Before you begin, scroll through the process photos in the blog post. The full recipe video is a must-watch to learn even more tricks to help you with this recipe. Or watch the 50-sec How-To YouTube Shorts.
- If baking the pie crust right away, preheat your oven to 350°F while preparing the dough.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the boiling water with the flaxseed meal and give it a quick mix with a spoon or whisk. Add the maple syrup, the GF all-purpose flour (or custom GF flour and starch blend, see post for details), sunflower seed flour, and sea salt and combine the ingredients by mixing with a spoon. Pour in the olive oil and continue mixing until crumbly. Use your hands to finish mixing and gather the dough into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined working surface. If making a whole batch of dough for a double-crusted pie, reserve one-third of the dough for the top crust. To prevent drying, wrap the reserved dough in plastic wrap. Flatten the large piece of dough to a 6-inch disc and place a second sheet of parchment overtop.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a large circle, up to 2 inches larger than your pie dish (approx. 12-14 inches). TIP: It’s ok to fold over thinner edges and roll them again to achieve a uniform thickness throughout.
- Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to a pie dish (see post or video for tips). Trim excess overhanging dough, but keep enough to help shape the dough and create an edge (add dough trimmings to the second crust). Fix any cracks, and crimp the edge. Dock (prick) the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork to allow steam to escape. For a double-crusted pie, roll out the second piece of dough and place it overtop the filled bottom crust. Shape, seal edges and score a few vents to allow steam to escape.
- Pre-bake a single or bottom crust for 15 minutes, cool for 10 minutes, then add filling and continue baking according to the recipe.
A full-baked single crust can take 25-30 minutes to bake. Once ready, cool the crust, then add pie filling, such as a cream or pudding-like filling that doesn’t require extra baking.
For a double-crusted pie (i.e., vegetable pot pies), it can take 55 to 70 minutes to bake. Shape the bottom crust into a pie dish (or springform pan), add the freshly made filling (it can still be a little warm but not piping hot), place the top crust, shape and seal the edges and bake. The pie is ready when the edges are golden and the filling starts bubbling through the vents.
- For double-crusted fruit pies or pot pies, let the freshly baked pie cool and set for 30 minutes or more before serving. Enjoy!
If you don’t have flax but do have whole psyllium husk, use some as an alternative but reduce the quantity to half. The flaxseed meal combined with the hot water helps to keep the dough together, so it doesn’t tear so easily.
If you want to use a gluten-free flour mix such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1, and it does have xanthan gum, you might be able to reduce the flaxseed meal to half or eliminate it altogether. That variation was not tested for this recipe, nor was that specific brand of flour.
In Canada, Purest.ca produces a great gluten-free flour blend without xanthan gum that includes brown and white rice flour with potato starch. Making a pie crust with only rice flour and some starch can create a gritty texture. Anita’s Organics produces a wonderful all-purpose gluten-free vegan flour blend. It contains certified gluten-free oat flour as well as brown rice flour, coconut flour, potato starch, tapioca flour/starch, and arrowroot powder/starch. This blend creates a lovely dough texture that is easier to shape.
Make your own GF flour blend. Try the following: 65-75% (about 1-1/2 cups/180 g) light gluten-free flour. A combo of 2-3 flours works best (e.i., GF oat flour, brown or white rice flour, millet, sorghum, light buckwheat flour), 25-35% (approx. 1/2 cup/60 g) starches. A combo of at least 2 is ideal (e.i., tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot starch, cassava flour), plus 1 cup/84 g sunflower seed flour.
Chantal’s Flour Combo Example: 1/2 cup (60 g), GF oat flour, 1/2 cup (60 g), light buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup (60 g), sorghum flour, Starch Combo: 1/4 cup tapioca starch (30 g), a little less than 1/4 cup potato starch (30 g), and Seed Flour: 1 cup sunflower seed flour (84 g).
To make sunflower seed flour, it’s as simple as milling/blending organic raw sunflower seeds in a small blender or spice grinder. Almond flour or almond meal is an alternative to sunflower seed flour if you do not have a nut allergy. Tiger nut flour (not an actual nut) would be an alternative.
Keywords: Gluten-Free Pie Crust, Vegan Pie Crust, Nut-Free Pie Crust, Allergen-Friendly Pie Crust, How To Make a GF Vegan Pie Crust