Gluten-Free Vegan Berry Pie

March 23, 2013

This amazing gluten-free vegan pie has an incredible vegan gluten-free pie crust and exquisite filling. Serve with ice cream. Pie lovers: this is for you!

Gluten-Free Vegan Berry Pie

This amazing gluten-free vegan berry pie has an incredible vegan gluten-free pie crust and exquisite filling. Pie lovers: this is for you!

Art Of The Pie Classes

Last year, I took a phenomenal pie-making class with award-winning pie maker and master teacher Kate McDermott from Art Of The Pie and I simply had to share the experience with you. I was in incredibly company. Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes graciously hosted; Elise’s delightful father, Tom joined us; as well as Amber Stott from Awake At The Whisk and founder of CA Food Literacy; and Jenny Lauck from Three Kid Circus and BlogHer.

We laughed our way through the day, as Kate shared all of her best pie-making tips and tricks. We made pear pies with delectable Warren pears from Frog Hollow Farms. Suffice to say, the pie was sensational! Kate’s gentle, fun approach made everything so easy, and we all had an absolute blast. I had a cheek-ache from smiling afterwards. That is always the mark of a fabulous time. Does life get any better? Beautiful people, fresh seasonal produce, and pie!

For those of you interested in learning from Kate, “Art of the Pie” workshops are small and intimate, with about 6 students. They last about 5 hours, and are held regularly in Washington State, and nationally and internationally by special arrangement. Yes! Kate will come to you! What a fabulous bridal shower idea, present for a special birthday, or just something fun do with a bunch of friends. Check out Kate’s Pie Camps too.

I am arranging another pie class here in L.A later this year. If you are interested, please leave a comment below, and I will email you the details. I would love to have some of you join us in L.A. In every class, you receive a ton of pie recipes, learn how to make great pie crust and fail-safe seasonal fruit fillings with any fruit, plus so much more! Each student makes their own baked pie in the class to take home and enjoy.

Kate Makes The Best Pie

Kate is one of the world’s foremost pie experts, Kate McDermott. After a life-long love affair with baking, Kate has found a career teaching culinary professionals and baking novices from all over the world to make great pie! Kate’s pies have been celebrated by Seattle’s top restauranteurs,  and have been featured in the country’s top publications like The Washington Post and USA Today. Ruth Reichl, after making pie with Kate, was quoted as saying, “absolutely perfect crust filled with fruit that actually sings to you.”

The Quest For The Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust

The pie crusts Kate shares in her classes and on her blog are the culmination of her years of experimentation and experience. She literally bakes pie every single day! After sampling Kate’s phenomenal pies (I made a gluten free version that contained butter) in the class, I wanted more, and so asked her to create a gluten free, vegan pie crust that I could happily enjoy, and share here.

As expected, she delivered in spectacular fashion. She playing around with countless versions, and using various oils (I was hoping the coconut oil version would triumph), and natural binders like applesauce, whole, flaxseeds ground flaxseeds, ground chia seeds, and psyllium husk powder.

After failing to get the “perfect” GF Vegan pie crust, she resorted to the dreaded blue can! Yes! She used Crisco for the first time in years! Success! She decided that this recipe was the closest thing to her regular pie crust, and would give allergy free vegans a chance to sample her sensational pie.

Kate said to me in an email, “I’ve been giving the pie project quite a bit of thought and attention over the past weeks. I’ve tried numerous variations and ingredients with varying results. I want something that approaches both the gluten-full pie dough I teach at my Art of the Pie workshops and also the gluten-free doughs I make and enjoy. Adding the vegan card into has made this quite a bit more challenging.”

“The dough I was happiest with is the one that used both Earth Balance and Crisco. I haven’t used the later for many years, and I tried it to get a more complete picture of what the different fats would do. The EB/C crust was everything that a pie crust, not just a GF crust but, any pie crust, should be. It was light, flakey and NO one knew it was GF/Vegan.

Mouths dropped open when I shared that little piece of info! Without Crisco, the crust is probably as good as a GF/Vegan crust can be.  I did a brief web-search to find out more about Crisco and how it compares to EB or Spectrum. Not being a nutritionist, I cannot give you any thing that is quotable, but I was surprised to see that Crisco’s nutritional stats didn’t look as bad as I thought it would.”

“Another challenge was finding something that would substitute for egg to bind it all together. Again, I tried a number of different things and settled on Jean Layton’s Pixie Dust. I have to say that for any GF/Vegan pies I make, I will most likely use a combo of EB/C and pixie dust.”

So, there you go. You can read more about Kate’s experimentation in her blog post.

I cannot tell you how many pies Kate made to get to this final recipe. She deserves a pie medal! Oh, wait, that’s right, she has tons of those! She isn’t the master for nothing. I did enjoy the countless photos sent by text of the various experimental pies. I just marveled at her tenacity and commitment to excellence. Kate, I am just so grateful to you for this recipe.

But, I have to sheepishly admit that I just couldn’t bring myself to dip into the little blue can…as much as I love you. Not being a pie aficionado like Kate, I enjoyed the pie crust with a full Earth Balance crust. I thought the pie was fabulous. I will let you decide which version you want to make. I will say, mine did not look as pretty as Kate’s pie! So, I decided to use the close up photo Kate took of her Gluten Free Apple Pie so you could all see what her gluten free vegan crust should look like.

Either way, this well perfected pie rocks! This is definitely going to be my Easter treat this year. I deliberately posted a frozen berry pie for all of the international readers, especially my fellow Aussies, who are heading into Winter weather. But, you could easily fill this pie crust with any seasonal fruit filling you like.

We often enjoy pie for Easter, and I have been saving Kate’s spectacular recipe especially for this celebration. Enjoy. You can find more amazing pie recipes on Kate’s website. It is a one-stop-pie-loving shop!

Tips For Making Great Pie Crust
  • Chill your work bowl in the freezer
  • Wrap flour packet in a plastic bag and store in the freezer
  • Keep fats cold
  • Keep your hands cold when making dough. Dip in a bowl of ice on a hot day and dry them off well
  • If the fats warm up when you are rolling out the dough, or constructing the pie, cover and pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill it back up
  • Chill your work bowl in the freezer!
Rolling Out Gluten-Free Vegan Pie Dough

GF-Vegan pie doughs are a bit trickier to roll until you get comfortable with the characteristics and temperament practice with a full-top crust with vents. If you have a day when you “just know” it is going to turn out great, try a lattice crust. As in all pie pastry, the main thing is to keep those fats chilled!

Notes about Crisco and Oils For Gluten-Free Pie Dough

After experimenting with coconut oil, and other plant based oils and fats, Kate says, “The gluten free vegan dough I was happiest with a combination of both Earth Balance and Crisco. The EB/C crust was everything that a pie crust, not just a GF crust but, any pie crust, should be. It was light, flakey and NO one knew it was GF/Vegan. Mouths dropped open when I shared that little piece of info! Without Crisco, with 100% Earth Balance, the crust is probably as good as a GF/Vegan crust can be.”
I just can’t bring myself to use Crisco, so I used 100% Earth Balance vegan buttery spread, which I don’t use very often either. Not being a pie aficionado like Kate, I thought the pie pastry turned out great. So, I will let you decide what to use.

Hints for Working with Frozen Fruit When Making Pie

Measure about 1/2 inch below the rim of your pie pan so it will be less likely to run over if your fruits are especially juicy. This is especially true for blackberries, sour cherries, blueberries, and rhubarb. Frozen fruits, especially rhubarb and cherries can be especially juicy when baked. Quick cooking tapioca (1 tablespoon) works great in combination with a little GF flour (1 – 2 tablespoons) to keep from making “fruit soup”. Be sure the tapioca is making slow thick bubbles are adding to ensure it has done its job.

Guide for Sweetening Frozen Fruit for Pies
  • Blueberries – 3/4 cup sweetener
  • Marionberries – 3/4 cup sweetener
  • Cherries – 1 cup sweetener
  • Rhubarb – 1 1/3 cup sweetener

Check out Kate’s tutorial on how to make pie dough.
Watch Kate’s video on how to make lattice crust.
Learn more about Kate McDermott at Art Of The Pie

Other Pies and Cakes For You

Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Pie
Raw “Key Lime”Pie
Chocolate Espresso Cake
Raw Carrot Cake
Pear Upside Down Cake

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!

Your feedback is important to me, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.


THE BLENDAHOLIC SHOW TRAILER: Hi, my name is Tess and I'm a Blendaholic. Every Monday I share super easy recipes you can make in your blender! I'm blending up smoothies, cocktails, soups, appetizers, snacks, main meals, and desserts. There isn’t anything I won’t try in a blender, and all of the recipes are mind-blowingly delicious. So, dust off your blender, and tune in to The Blendaholic every Monday at 7AM PST to find your perfect blend. Find more easy healthy recipes at The Blender Girl

Posted by The Blendaholic on Monday, January 22, 2018
  • Want to make amazing green smoothies?

    Give me the free tips!


Gluten-Free Vegan Berry Pie

This amazing gluten-free vegan pie has an incredible vegan gluten-free pie crust and exquisite filling. Serve with ice cream. Pie lovers: this is for you!

Prep Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 1 9” deep-dish pie
Author Tess Masters



  • 2 1/3 cups gluten-free flour mix (recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup  sorghum flour
  • 1 tablespoon  coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Celtic sea salt 
  • 2 teaspoons  Jean Layton's Pixie Dust (recipe below)
  • 1 cup vegan shortening (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon  apple cider vinegar
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons  iced water
  • Mochiko sweet rice flour,  for rolling

​gluten-free flour mix:

  • 2 cups  tapioca starch
  • 2 cups  cornstarch
  • 1 cup  potato starch flour
  • 4 cups Mochiko sweet rice flour


  • 8 to 10 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (enough to fill your pie pan about 1/2 inch below the rim) - see notes)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Celtic sea salt 
  • 1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca (if fruit is especially juicy)
  • 1/4 scant cup gluten free flour mix (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon  vegan butter, cut into small pieces

Jean Layton's Pixie Dust:

  • 3 parts golden flax seeds
  • 2 parts chia seeds (black or white)
  • 1 part psyllium powder (ground psyllium husks)


  1.  For the dough, Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. For the GF pastry flour, mix ingredients together and store in the freezer until used.
  3. In your food processor, add the fats cut up into large pieces (about 1 Tbs size) and pulse 15-20 times. Add vinegar and pulse 5 times more. Add water, holding back a tablespoon or so, and pulse 10 times. Add more ice water if needed. (The dough should feel very soft and somewhat sticky.)

  4. Scrape the dough out of the food processor and quickly pull it all together into a large ball about the size of a softball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and form into a chubby disk about the size of a hockey puck.

  5. Chill dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. For the filling, place frozen berries, coconut sugar, nutmeg, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, flour, and tapioca into a large mixing bowl. Mix together and set aside to partially thaw while you roll out your crust.
  7. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  8. Remove chilled dough from fridge and unwrap.
  9. To assemble the pie, roll gently between two pieces of plastic wrap sprinkled well with Michiko flour until it is about 1 inch larger than your pie pan/plate.
  10. With the plastic still on, place the pin in the middle of the dough and drape the dough over the pin until both edges meet. Carefully peel what was the bottom piece of plastic off.

  11. 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. The remaining piece of plastic will now be on top. If there are any rips or tears in the dough, carefully move them back together with your fingers on the plastic. When all the dough is relatively one, carefully take off the remaining piece of plastic.

  12. Mix filling again, and then place into the chilled crust. Dot with a little bit of vegan butter and set aside.

  13. Roll out the 2nd dough disk if you are making a double crusted pie. Trim and crimp the edges of the pie. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut sugar.

  14. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the crust is just golden, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  15. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 – 40 minutes more.
  16. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from Kate McDermott and Jean Layton
Photo by Trent Lanz and styling by Alicia Buszczak