Sep 26, 2013

2-Ingredient Pie Crust. Vegan. Grain-free. Oil-free.


The weather is getting cool by me. You know what that means? I start thinking about holiday baking. I used to be a baker. That was when I was still eating animal products. When baking was easy. When baking included eggs, wheat flour and oil (usually in the form of butter)…

Well, all I can say is we’ve come a long way. There are now oodles of blogs and recipes out there which feature vegan baked yummies. However, nearly ALL of those recipes contain oil (lots of coconut oil recipes floating around on the web) and many are not gluten-free.

I’m not exactly sure how I thought of this. One day I was so discouraged about baking without the use of my old friends crutches ingredients that I flippantly decided to toss some almond flour and flax into the food processor. I’m always testing new recipes in my kitchen, especially in the baking realm…

Lo and behold. A perfect crust! So simple and so nutritious. I was amazed, astounded and shocked that no one had thought of this before. It’s pretty amazing (((sigh))) if I do say so myself.


  • 2 cups tightly-packed blanched almond flour
  • 1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS water, plus more as needed (NOTE: use golden flax seeds to make your flax meal if you would like an even color to the crust. Simply grind them in a nut/seed grinder, or coffee grinder, to make the flax meal.)
my new friend… pastry and pizza roller!
  1. Preheat oven to 350Β° F.
  2. Mix the flax meal and the 3 TBS water together and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place almond flour in a food processor and turn on.
  4. While running, pour in the flax mixture.
  5. Pulse until the flax is completely incorporated and the dough is sticking together. Drizzle in more water as needed. The dough should be soft and smooth.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
  7. Press it together tightly and form a disc.
  8. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  9. Roll the dough in between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, then turn it out into a pie plate. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. You will shape it when it’s in the pie plate.
  10. Use one of the sheets of plastic wrap to smush the dough up the sides of the plate and level it down as best you can. The BEST way to do this is with something called a pastry and pizza roller (see photo above). It makes everything even and smooth. It’s very inexpensive and I highly recommend having one in your kitchen.
  11. Flute the edges using your fingers or a fork, making any design you like.
  12. Dock the crust (poke it all over with a fork).
  13. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges of the crust are golden.

Healthy trails and happy baking!


54 responses to “2-Ingredient Pie Crust. Vegan. Grain-free. Oil-free.”

  1. I am one of the lucky ones to experience this vegan pie crust firsthand with the beyond-description divine pie itself!! The texture of the crust is better than any pie crust ever! When I asked Helyn the ingredients I couldn't believe it. Who would have thought that just those simple vegan ingredients would result in a crust that tastes better than any other. When I asked her where she got the idea she said she just figured it out. Truly, she's brilliant. She's creating alternate recipes for so many foods that we love but have not indulged in because they're not healthy. Now we can splurge and delight in our indulgences not only guilt-free but know that we're getting real nutrition. It can't get any better!

  2. Diane says:

    I excited to try it! Now then, what shall I fill it with? πŸ™‚

  3. Peggyw says:

    So interesting..Like you, I was a baker before going Vegan a year ago. This is a whole new world of ingredients and techniques, but I am game. I grew sugar pumpkins this summer, then roasted, pureed and froze the results. I will give this crust a try!

  4. JH says:

    Does the almond flour have to be blanched or could you just use regular almond flour? I don't know that I can find blanched almond flour in my area.

    Thanks! Just discovered your website this week. Your recipes look amazing!!

  5. JH: I haven't tried using unblanched flour. But here is a tip.. if you can find blanched almond slivers (most supermarkets have them) you can make almond flour by pulsing them in a food processor or a blender. Be careful if you use a blender. It will only take a few seconds… too long and you'll have almond butter! Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

  6. Ekko says:

    LOVE simple recipes – Unfortunately my husband is allergic to flax (I wonder if I could use a chia seed mixture?) Or if you have a better idea as a sub I'll try it – and don't fret if your suggestion doesn't work out I just don't know many replacements for flax yet in recipes.

    • Chia and flax are pretty much interchangeable in recipes. Chia does tend to be a bit more glutenous though. Not sure about the crust, but I'd say give it a try and please let me know the outcome! Thanks!!

    • barbara says:

      I am also allergic to flax and was thinking of using chia seed. When you say Chia is more glutenous, how does that effect the baking? What would be the difference? I plan on trying this soon, along with your pumpkin pie recipe.

    • Hi Barbara,

      What I meant to say is that the chia is more gelatinous (not glutenous). So you may need to use less, especially when it's ground. Since I haven't experimented with chia in this recipe, I can't really say with any prediction how it would work. I think I'm going to try one with chia so I can let you guys know how it does! πŸ™‚

    • Ekko says:

      Thank you so much for your reply and helpful ideas. I will try this as soon as I get more almond flour in the house (just ran out)

    • You're welcome Ekko! Honeyville is having a sale.. ends tomorrow. 15% off their almond flour πŸ™‚

    • Barbara says:

      I've been meaning to update: I made the crust with chia seeds. I took 1TBS of chia seed and ran it through a coffee grinder. Oddly, I ended up with more than 1TBS. Anyway, I used 1TBS of the ground chia seed and ground the almond flour out of blanched almonds. I added a few dates and everything went exactly as your instructions. I pre-baked for 20 minutes. after 10 minutes of pre-bake, I covered the edges. I wish I would have covered it from the start and baked for 15 min, as the edges browned too much after I let it bake covered with the pie filling. Other than the top/edge, I think it turned out the same as using flax seed. The crust was surprisingly stable, I thought it might fall apart easily. Thanks, this is a recipe I will play around with.

    • Thanks for the update Barbara!

  7. Tracy says:

    Hi, this looks awesome! I can't wait to try it. I think I could use it for a savory pie recipe also, right?

  8. Rhonda says:

    This crust is great with the vegan pumpkin pie recipe! It was a little challenging to work with though and seemed a little dry as I rolled it out. I used a pizza/pastry roller like yours and it would have been harder without it. If I was going to try to add a little (smidge) more moisture, how would you suggest; water and flax, or just water? We live in high desert, at about 4,300 ft, so I can probably get away with it.

  9. burghgrl says:

    HI Helyn! How EXCITED I was to stumble onto your wonderful blog! WOWZA πŸ™‚ Your story had me from the get go with the old baking standards we used, because girrrl, i'm completely beFUDDLED and yes, a bit p.o. that I now have to CHANGE completely everything i ever knew about baking. Whew…where to start? all this stuff about this flour, that flour, wierd ingredients that're FOREIGN to me-oyy! Also, I'm on the Swank diet for MS which is highly effective and I'm grateful, but it IS very low fat. The almond flour…hmmm. Can I use, one of the boxed (Non almond) mixes of gluten free flour I've got lingering in the freezer since my baking boycott has settled in? I guess that's a newbie's friend right? wow…I so so miss, biscotti's, all the wonderful cookies of years past…i'm just so down about all this. Thank you, for being a beacon in the night!

    p.s. yeah…what IS up with all the coconut oil, milk, etc. use??? Don't people REMEMBER?? this is SERIOUSLY forbidden on any low or no fat diet!

    • Hi there! I feel your frustration! Last year I was in a complete protest about all of my baking. I barely did any, even on the holidays. On the substitution for the crust, you can certainly try the AP GF flour, though I can't guarantee a good result only because it is the fat in the almond flour that replaces the oil (butter) in the recipe :- Let me know how it comes out. I'm experimenting with other crusts and I'll be posting the ones that turn out well that are lower in fat. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • burghgrl says:

      Hi Helyn…YPE…complete protest is EXACTLY right. Boyyyy, it's not easy to change those old ways is it? So so WORTH it, but it's no ~cinch! Finally, i'm beginnng to wrap my brain round the g.f. thing, but not fast, by any means. Gotcha on the results…yeah, it figures it's the fat that makes it so tasty. I make EVERYTHING with oils…not a lot, by any means, but hadda ditch the butter, marg. & partially hydrogenated stuff 24 years ago. No looking back now πŸ™‚ Be well…

  10. I've made this crust many times and it is always wonderful! I am making four of them for Thanksgiving this year and want to make them ahead of time. Have you ever tried freezing them prior to cooking them? Do you think they would do well frozen first? Or will they last in my refrigerator prior to cooking in dough form for four days? Thanks!

    • Hi Wendy! I think it would be fine to make them ahead and keep the dough in the fridge. That's what I am going to do this year… I also have more than one pie that I'm making for Thursday. I've never tried freezing. You should probably take the dough out of the fridge about an hour before you roll it out, otherwise it may be too stiff. Hope the helps. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Rachel says:

    Made this crust to accompany my pumpkin pie; used 1 tbsp chia and 3 tbsp water to make a chia egg, as I usually have more luck with chia as a binder than flax. I kept the edges covered for the entire prebake and bake time with great success. My favorite thing about this pie crust is its stability – it held up wonderfully when cut & served. I added some nutmeg to give it a bit more seasonal flavor, yum. So happy to have found such a healthy & simple pie crust recipe.

  12. The Buttars says:

    Would this recipe work to make little pie pockets? I want to cut out circles, fill with pesto and cream cheese and then top and seal with another circle and then bake

  13. Anonymous says:

    How long would you recommend pre-baking your pie crust? Are their any special instructions for baking the center of the crust before it goes in the oven? Thank You!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I'm making a peach galette. Would this work as the crust?
    Great recipe! Thanks!

  15. Akito says:

    I have all the ingredients ready for this crust!! Just one question. How do I go about the filling and baking? The filling I'm using is from another site. Do I bake the crust then fill it and bake it again? Or do I par bake it for a few minutes then bake it again?? Please Thanksgiving is tomorrow!! πŸ™‚

  16. Laura Ilardo says:

    Can I use regular pastry flour instead of almond flour?

  17. C says:

    I plan on making the pie today because it sounds absolutely delicious! Can I use oat flour in place of the almond flour?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Uh oh. I JUST saw your message now. Unfortunately, no. Oat flour would definitely not work as a sub. The reason the almond flour words at all is because of its high fat content (this replaces the usual butter/lard/oil that is needed for a flaky crust. Hope you didn’t already try this with the oat flour!

  18. Ibrich says:

    Hello! Lovely simple recipe.
    I’m busy making it now, but I don’t understand point 9 and 10. Maybe because English is not my native language :D.

    What do you mean with ‘roll the dough in between 2 sheets of plastic’? I can’t visualize that. Same for ‘use one of the sheets of plastic wrap to smush the dough up the sides of the plate and level it down’.

    Thank you!


    • helynskitchen says:

      Oh dear. I hope you haven’t had trouble with this recipe… what I mean is to lay a sheet of plastic wrap down on the table or counter, plop the dough on top of it and then put another sheet of plastic on top of that. Then press the dough down until it is about 1-2 inches high and then use a rolling pin to roll it out. Once it is to the desired thinness peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and invert it into the pie dish. Using that same plastic then roll the dough out into the pie tin using a small pastry roller.. or you can just use your fingers if you don’t have one of these.

      The plastic helps the dough to not stick to the surfaces of the table and the rolling pin. I hope you were able to manage!

  19. Leah says:

    I tried this crust with your pecan pie recipe recently. I did not dock or prebake the crust. I did cover the edges with foil. The top edge, where I fluted it, stuck to the pan and was like concrete. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • helynskitchen says:

      Oh gosh, Leah. I’m so sorry you had this trouble. I can’t imagine what happened… Maybe the edges were just too thin? I usually crimp mine, not flute. That’s the only thing I can think of. Sorry!

  20. Ruth Rivera says:

    Will this 2-ingredient pie crust work as a top crust?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Well, it’s tricky but it can be done. I did it once ?… roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and then gently take the top plastic off and invert it over the top of the pie. I can’t guarantee perfection and there might be some cursing involved! ?

  21. Kylie Blundell says:

    I was wondering if this could be used as an alternative for puff pastry, for example, in a mushroom Wellington or Vegan sausage roll type dish? I can buy vegan puff pastry here, but it has palm oil in it, and I’m trying to find oil free recipes. Perhaps you have an alternative?

  22. Kylie Blundell says:

    I was wondering if this could be used as an alternative for puff pastry, for example, in a mushroom Wellington or Vegan sausage roll type dish? I can buy vegan puff pastry here, but it has palm oil in it, and I’m trying to find oil free recipes. Perhaps you have an alternative? Thank you

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Kylie. Oh how I wish! I used to love puff pastry and haven’t found anything to replace it. This crust is nowhere near as light and flaky as the pastry. If you find anything out there that would work, please do let us know! πŸ™‚

  23. Ruth Rivera says:

    Will this make a good top crust?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Ruth! I have made a top crust with it before but it is VERY tricky to work with, as the dough doesn’t hold together like a regular crust does. I just doubled the recipe and left one half attached to the plastic wrap and flipped it on top that way. You can certainly try but I have no guarantees that you won’t be cursing me in the process! πŸ™‚

  24. Ruth Rivera says:

    Would this crust work as a wrap for Seitan Wellington?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Ruth! No, unfortunately, it would be way too crumbly to work for that purpose. Great question, thanks for asking!

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