Elderberry Pie Recipe

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary you can’t go wrong with this Elderberry Pie recipe, especially if you have a neighbor with an elderberry bush in season! If you’re looking for a tasty elderberry recipe, using either fresh or dried elderberries, you can’t go wrong with this tasty pie.

If you love elderberry recipes, be sure to check out these elderberry muffins too!

A slice of elderberry pie on a plate sits in front of another slice and the rest of the pie in the background.

It’s a dilemma. You’ve got a beautiful elderberry bush, just brimming with elderberries, but what do you do with them? Is there some elderberry dessert you can create with those berries? Or do you leave the berries on the bush for the birds to enjoy?

I recommend doing a little bit of both — leave some for the birds and pick some for you too!

If you’re wondering specifically what to do with elderberries, I recommend making a pie. More about that in a minute. First, let’s discuss the nutritional benefits of elderberries.

I wrote recently about the benefits of this special berry in my post, Elderberry Muffins recipe. But with elderberries in season, I thought it would justify one more post about this tasty and healthy berry. Although the elderberry is small, my neighbor’s bush yielded a lot of berries; enough even for me to make a pie. The results were heavenly.

Benefits of Elderberries

Before I go on though, I do want to point out that the elderberry does have a somewhat unique flavor. It’s similar to a blueberry but with an earthy twist. There’s a certain zest to it that distinguishes it from other berries.

Being distinguished can be a good thing. Especially if you’re a berry in a pie.

Elderberries are known for the following nutritional elements:

  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron.

And that’s just to name a few!

Next, let’s talk about how to make this recipe for elderberry pie!

Two hands reach in with a blue kitchen towel, to grab a freshly baked pie.

How to Make Elderberry Pie

For this recipe, I used my favorite vodka-infused Vegan Pie Crust. I wonder if the healthiness of the berries counteracts the not-so-healthy attributes of the pie crust?

Elderberry Pies are relatively easy to make and fun because they’re so unique. It begins with a crucial first step, preparing the berries.

Step One: Preparing the Elderberries

Finding fresh elderberries may be the toughest task in making this pie. Assuming you have a bush or farmer with elderberry bushes nearby, then you’re in luck. Otherwise, you may want to plant your own bush and wait for a harvest. We’ll discuss making this pie from dried elderberries too.

As enticing as fresh elderberries may be, do not eat them raw. The seeds in raw elderberries are toxic. We’ll be cooking them for this pie, which makes the seeds edible.

Picking Elderberries

  1. Pick when Ripe — Wait until the elderberries are fully ripe before picking them. Elderberries are typically ripe between mid-August and mid-September.
  2. Elderberry Clusters — Elderberries grow in clusters. I find removing the cluster where it attaches to the stem to be the easiest way to pick elderberries. The cluster will snap off quite easily. Or you can take scissors to do this. Place the clusters in a basket or bag.
  3. Stripping the Berries — You can use a wide-tooth comb to strip the berries from the clusters, but I find it easiest to use my fingers. I hold the cluster over a bowl and gently feather my fingers beginning at the stem and moving toward the berries. It’s tricky because you need to press hard enough to remove the berries, but not so hard as to squish them.
  4. Cleaning the Berries — When you’re done you should be looking at a big bowl of elderberries. Next, you’ll want to pick out and discard any stem pieces (including the feathery looking pieces that attach to the berries) and any green berries. The stems and green berries are toxic.

Quick Fix Tip

You can also freeze elderberries still in their clusters. Frozen elderberries will pop off the cluster stems, making the process of berry stripping much easier!

Looking down on a large bowl full of raw elderberries, including bits of stems and some green berries.

Step Two: Make the Elderberry Filling

Elderberries are actually small berries. Much smaller than a blueberry. That’s why elderberry pie recipes require so many elderberries for the filling. The other troubling thing is that the berries are very juicy and don’t have much pectin which is a thickening agent.

Elderberries also have seeds inside them. Would those seeds distract the texture of the pie? Because we cook the filling, the seeds soften, which makes the seeds much more palatable. In addition, cooking the pie filling first is an important step to ensure that the seeds inside the berries are thoroughly cooked, eliminating toxins.

If you don’t have enough elderberries, you can add other berries, like blueberries or blackberries to the mix.

Looking down on a saucepan full of elderberries and sugar.

To make this filling, place berries and sugar in a saucepan. Then, you’ll mix some cornstarch with cold water and give that a stir.

Elderberries need a boost of sweetness which is why this recipe calls for a bit more sugar than other pie recipes.

A hand holds a small glass bowl full of a cornstarch slurry, pouring it into a sauce pan full of berries.

Pour the cornstarch slurry in the saucepan with the berries. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens.

Then remove the pan from heat and stir in the chia seeds and lemon juice. Allow the filling to cool and thicken a little.

Step Three: Pour Filling into Pie Crust

After the berry filling has cooled a bit, spoon it into the prepared pie crust.

Pie Topping

Here are some options for the top of your pie:

  • Cookie Cutter Crust — Use a flower cookie cutter to cut pieces of pie dough. Place them over the filling of the unbaked pie. This adds tasty crust on top while still allowing the berries to show through.
  • Lattice Crust — A lattice crust on top works great too. I share more about making lattices on my vegan apple pie recipe.
  • Solid Top Crust — Roll out the second pie dough and place it over the top of the pie, cutting slits to allow for steam to vent. Crimp the edges of the top dough with the bottom to seal the two together.
  • No Top Crust — You don’t have to do a top crust at all. The crust on the bottom is plenty and the flavor, texture, and color of the berries will be showcased in every bite.

Step Four: Bake the Pie

Bake the pie for approximately 45 minutes, until the crust is browned. You should put a pan underneath the pie to protect your oven from any overflow.

Add a pie shield as it bakes to prevent the edges of the pie from getting too browned.

Marly’s Tips

Before baking you can add a vegan egg wash to the crust. I did not use a vegan egg wash for my pie and you’ll notice it browned beautifully.

Elderberry Pie with Dried Elderberries

We don’t all have an elderberry bush in the neighborhood so if you want an elderberry pie, you may consider using dried elderberries. I was skeptical this would work, but it turned out great! Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Soaking — Soak 3 1/2 cups dried elderberries in 4 cups of hot water for 30 minutes or more. You should notice the berries softening and plumping.
  2. Drain the Liquids — Drain the soaking liquid, reserving 1/4 cup for the next step.
  3. Filling — Use the soaked berries in place of the fresh berries in the elderberry filling, using the reserved soaking liquid in place of the water.

If you don’t have enough dried fruit to make an entire pie, you can always make hand pies or supplement the elderberries with some blueberries too. It’s great to know you can enjoy a tasty elderberry pie even if you don’t have a bush nearby!

What does elderberry pie taste like?

An elderberry pie filling tastes similar to any berry pie, except with some earthy tones in the mix. You can add depth of flavor and texture to an elderberry pie by combining it with other berries, like blueberries.

Can you eat raw elderberries?

While fresh elderberries looks nice and juicy, you should avoid eating uncooked elderberries. About 50% of the berries are seeds, which are toxic. However, once cooked the berries are safe to eat.

Is Elderberry Pie Healthy?

It is important to note that elderberries should be cooked before being eaten. Beyond that, worrying about your health when eating a slice of pie is like talking about diets on Thanksgiving Day; it distracts from the pleasure of the moment.

More Elderberry Recipes

A woman holds a stem full of elderberries.
Fresh elderberries off the vine.

More Fruit Desserts

I wish you all were in the neighborhood so I could share with you a slice of this elderberry pie! Of course, if you all came at once, I might have to make more…but it would be worth it!

A slice of elderberry pie sits on a plate. There's another slice behind it and the rest of the pie too.

That’s it for this elderberry pie recipe. Enjoy!

A slice of elderberry pie on a plate.

Elderberry Pie

This delicious Eldeberry Pie is made with a flaky crust and rich, full elderberry filling. This classic berry pie will soon be a new favorite.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 216kcal



For the Pie Crust

  • Prepare the pie crust according to the directions. When the dough balls are chillded, roll one of the dough balls out. Transfer it to the pie pan and refrigerate to chill.

For the Elderberry Pie

  • Place berries and sugar in a saucepan. Mix the cornstarch with cold water and add it to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add the chia seeds and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Set aside to allow the mixture to thicken and cool a little more.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • If you want a crust topping on the pie, roll out the second dough ball until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out pieces of the dough to be placed on the top of the pie. A small flower cookie cutter works great. Or you can can do a lattice crust as well. See notes for a link with instructions on easy lattice tips.
  • Pour the berry mixture into the pie crust. Add crust over the top in either lattice or cookie cutter form. Crimp the edges of the pie.
  • Bake the pie for 40–45 minutes, until the crust is browned.
  • Use oven mits to remove the pie from the oven. Set aside for it to cool for at least 2 hours. This cooling process helps the filling to firm up. Serve slices at room temperature or warm them slightly before serving. Top with some vegan ice cream for a nice touch!

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)


You can depth of flavor and texture by adding other berries to the mix. Try adding a cup of blueberries with 3 cups of elderberries.
For tips on creating a lattice top to your pie, check out this vegan apple pie recipe.
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in 2012, but was re-posted to include new photos, recipe updates, and tips in 2020.

36 Responses to Elderberry Pie Recipe

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDanielle Reply

    Hi Marly! Do you think this would go well with a graham cracker crust?

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyVickie Trudeau Reply

    Are elder berries found on the pig weed? What does bush look like?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Vickie. Actually, pigweed is a different plant. Elderberries grow on a large bush (referred to as a tree, but it looks like a bush to me) with small purple berries. Scroll through this post and you’ll see a picture of me holding a branch with elderberries on it.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRohtak Reply

    5 stars
    This is a lovely simple recipe that makes a great pie.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you like it!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTeresa Reply

    5 stars
    My mother always made elderberry pie…I found a bush and tried last year with a different recipe, and it was elderberry soup. Trying your recipe now, After cooking the elderberries, I added more corn starch, I guess my berries were very juicy too 🙂 and its in the oven. Luckily I had the Chia seeds on hand. Last year I made the Elderberry syrup as well, I’d like some jelly, but the whole bag hanging thing is more than I can manage 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Teresa. Thanks for your comment. You’re so lucky to have a bush nearby. We moved from our neighbor that had all those elderberry bushes. I had to drive back to my old neighborhood to get some, but it’s well worth the drive! Yes, elderberries are very juicy. I find the chia seeds help a lot!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNancy Boyce

      5 stars
      I make elderberry jam. So easy. I use the recipe on the surejel box

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Sounds great, Nancy! I haven’t tried making the jam yet, but it will have to be on my list for next year’s crop!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDan Kosiorek Reply

    Can you use dried elderberries, if so how do you prepair?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Dan. Yes, you can use dried elderberries. When using dried berries for baking, soak, covered in hot water for 5-10 minutes to let the berries rehydrate. Drain the berries thoroughly before adding to the recipe. I hope this helps!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRAYMOND O'DONNELL Reply


    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      This is interesting, Raymond. How do people order elderberries?

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLeslie Reply

    Niether of mine set up at all…not sure what I did wrong. I’ve made it before, but this time was a total flop! 🙁

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Leslie. If you want to try to salvage it, you could stir in 1/4 cup ground chia seeds and then let it set for an hour. I’m not sure that will work, but it should. I wonder if these berries were juicier? It’s possible!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCarolina Reply

    5 stars
    Would loved to have known about the fool proof crust! I just did a how-to video on
    elderberry pie…with mistakes and all. lol enjoy!


    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Oooh, looking forward to checking out your video. Love those elderberries!

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