1-2-3 It’s Easy As Pie: A GF-Vegan Pie Dough That Works!

Apple Pie with GF Vegan Crust

Apple Pie with GF Vegan Crust

Pie Day is January 23! To celebrate many of you will be turning to your tried and true recipes for dough and filling to bake a pie to share with friends and family. My GF friends will enjoy this dough. But, some find a day like Pie Day brings memories of a baked treat that they no longer are able to enjoy. I want everyone to enjoy pie so I worked long and hard on a GF Vegan Dough Recipe this winter. I learned alot in the process…some of it really bent around my thoughts.

Here’s how the project started. In the Spring of last year I unexpectedly was able to attend BlogHer Food ’12 when it held its conference in Seattle. The first evening I sort of half-invited-myself/half-was-invited to join a group of food bloggers from other parts of the country. Among them was Tess Masters who blogs as The Blender Girl.

Tess and I hit it off famously and two things came of our meeting. The first was a workshop in fall of 2012 at the home of Simply Recipe’s Elise Bauer and the second was a personal challenge from Tess to create a GF-Vegan dough. The first was a piece of cake, I mean pie, as I love to teach and well over a thousand folks have come to my workshops.

But, the second took quite a bit of thought, testing and re-testing. The challenging part for me in GF-Vegan is that there is nothing in the way of protein like egg that will bind things together. And, I couldn’t use my beloved butter and lard. But, always up for a little adventure and discovery, I jumped right in.

I used the GF Flour Mix that I wrote about here. That part worked out just fine! You’ll want to print that out from the link.

But what fats to use?

I tried coconut oil, Earth Balance Buttery Stick, Spectrum Shortening, and…drum roll…you’re not going to believe this…the stuff in the blue can which has heretofore remained nameless. That’s right, I tried Crisco! I’ll get back to that in just a bit.

But, then how to hold it all together?

Now it was really getting interesting.

My experimental doughs included applesauce, flax seed whole, flax seed ground, flax seed ground and mixed with water, ground chia seed, and psyllium husk powder. And, it was the brilliant GF baker Jean Layton who showed me the way.

Jean has created something she calls Pixie Dust; a combination of golden flax seed, white chia seed and psyllium husk powder all mixed up in the proportions she sets out here and ground together. You’ll want to print this out from the link, too. Once you have it made up, it can happily wait in your freezer until you need it. And believe me I gave it a work out!

I won’t bore you with the details other than to say, that I have a video of my son, Duncan, and some of his friends tasting the early experiments. One commenter said, “This is the best GF-Vegan Pie I’ve ever had!” When I asked him if he had ever had one before he said, “No, this is the first.” You gotta love these kids. They did not want to hurt my feelings or let me know that the pie was not up to my usual tender flakey standards until after I tasted it. When I said “Oh, this is way too tough!”, they let out a sigh and agreed. So, I kept making pie after pie after pie.

Just after Christmas I made my umpteenth GF-Vegan experiment and low and behold, I feel like I nailed it! It was the combination of the GF flours, Jean’s Pixie Dust, Crisco and my own tenacity that got me to this place.

And, now, here it is for you. Share it with your GF-Vegan friends and let them know that everyone can eat pie on Pie Day (January 23) and everyday!

GF-Vegan Pie Dough
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 2-1/3 c Art of the Pie GF flour mix #2
  • ⅓ c sorghum flour
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Jean Layton's Pixie Dust (http://glutenfreedoctor.com/pixie-dust-xanthan-gum-replacer/)
  • ½ cup Earth Balance buttery stick
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • 1Tbs Bragg's apple cider vinegar
  • 5-7 Tbs Ice Water
  • Mochiko rice flour for rolling
  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. In a food processor, add fats cut up into large pieces (about 1Tbs size) and pulse 15-20 times.
  3. Add vinegar and pulse 5 times more.
  4. Add water, holding back a Tbs or so, and pulse 10 times.
  5. Add more ice water if needed.
  6. The dough should feel very soft and somewhat sticky.
  7. Scrape the dough out of the food processor and quickly pull it all together into a large ball about the size of a softball.
  8. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and form into a chubby disc about the size of a hockey puck.
  9. Chill dough for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  10. Remove chilled dough from fridge.
  11. Roll gently between two pieces of plastic wrap sprinkled well with Mochiko flour until it is about 1 inch larger than your pie pan or plate.
  12. With the plastic still on, place the pin in the middle of the dough and drap the dough over the pin until both edges meet.
  13. Carefully peel what was the bottom piece of plastic off.
  14. Place the pin with dough in the center of the pan/plate and roll it off to the other side. You may need to help it along with your hand.
  15. The remaining piece of plastic will now be on top.
  16. If there are any rips or tears, carefully move them back together with your fingers on the plastic.
  17. When all is relatively one, carefully remove the remaining piece of plastic.
  18. Place prepared filling into pan and roll out the 2nd dough disc if you are making a double crusted pie.
You can substitute a mix of shortenings that add up to 1 cup. I have the best results with Earth Balance Buttery Stick (for flavor) and Crisco for tenderness. 45 minute prep time does not include 2 hours chill time in the fridge.

Be Happy, Make Pie!

Share Art of the Pie


  1. says

    Food processor? AAAARggggggh! Can I come and borrow yours? Oh such a bother and so excited about gluten free pie too. A life of suffrage in the land of fruits and berries. Whoa is me…..

  2. says

    I can’t wait to try this on Friday… we’re having a double birthday dinner party and one of the birthday peeps is vegan, and the other is gluten free. I will try really hard to buy Crisco :)

  3. says

    Oh Kate! You are my pie making HERO! Thankyou SO much for your tenacity and commitment to excellence with creating this incredible pie. My family and I will be eternally grateful. I had SO much fun at the pie class, and am counting the days until the next one in L.A. Love you xxx

  4. says

    How wonderful! You are the best, and I love your note about the taste testers and how your honesty set them free to give you the ‘feedback’ (pun intended) you needed to get back in there and keep going. I am tickled that the blue-container substance has a place here. You know what? Many a southerner has found what was needed in that container, and I am all for it! Love your blog and spirit.

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