Grain Free Pie Crust (For double crust pie’s). Egg/Gluten/Dairy/Corn/Soy Free.

by Brittany on November 19, 2012

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This recipe is a little bit monumental. You see, making a pie grain free has been quite possible for some time now. Its not difficult to throw some nuts or seeds into a food processor to make a simple crust to press into the pie platter.  But, a crust that could be rolled out, and manipulated EXACTLY like a traditional wheat crust. A recipe for that didn’t exist without eggs. Until today.

I love pie. I really do. Especially pot pie. BUT what’s a pot pie without a top crust?  Its NOT a pot pie. I can tell you that much. This idea of being able to eat a REAL double crusted pot pie drove me to make this recipe 9 stinking times this morning to get it the way I wanted. It was so worth it to finally have this perfect beautiful crust sitting in my pie dish just smiling back at me.  I am SO thrilled to share this recipe with all of you. This crust has a bit of a crispy texture while the inside almost has a biscuit flavor and texture. Its hard to describe- but I can tell you that it made my taste buds squeal with delight.

As usual, I’m sure a large number of you will have substitution questions for me. Today I’m sorry but I probably will be short on answers. You see, it took me hours of work and nearly 4 lbs of almond flour to figure out the magical combination of ingredients. It would take me a heap more of time and ingredients to be able to offer you suggestions on how to change things. So, my advice: If you can’t have a specific ingredient take the recipe into your kitchen and play around yourself  OR keep on your searching for something that does work for you.

I can tell you three things though:

  • DO NOT try to exchange the almond flour for coconut. Or else you will end up with a crust that tastes more like bread. If you cannot have almonds specifically then I would use another nut or see flour- though its important that you make sure they are extremely finely ground. Use a high powered blender or coffee grinder. I would recommend a mild tasting nut or seed like cashews, or sunflower seeds. Your results are not going to be exactly the same- but this is the closest suggestion I can offer.
  • DO NOT exchange the almond flour for a grain based flour- If you are looking to use grains check out my Pate Brisee recipe instead.
  • I tried making the recipe without Xanthan or Guar Gum and it still turned out great! It was just the slightest bit crumbly when I fluted my edges- though not overly so. I was still able to work the dough into what I wanted. I also noticed  without the gum the crust ended up just a bit more tender. So, its 100% up to you if you want to use it.

In this recipe I call for Whole Psyllium Husks. They are essential and its important that you buy a canister that labels them as “whole”. Many brands are now certified gluten free (they are all gluten free, just be cautious of cross contamination if you are a super sensitive celiac.)  They can be found in the supplement/vitamin section of most grocery and drug stores.

Grain Free Pie Crust

2 Tsp Whole Psyllium Husks
1/8 Tsp Xanthan OR Guar Gum (optional- see note above)
1/3 Cup of Warm Water.

1 3/4 Packed Cup of Blanched Almond Flour
1/2  Packed Cup Starch (Tapioca, Arrowroot or Potato)
1/4 Tsp Salt (I like to use 1/2 tsp in savory recipes).
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda 
1 Tbs of additional water.

  1. In a small cup or bowl combine the Psyllium, Xanthan and 1/3 Cup of Water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes so that it can thicken.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor combine the Almond Flour, Starch, Salt and Baking Soda. Process to combine. Add the thickened Psyllium Mixture to the food processor. Turn on high and process- then add the last Tbs of water and combine until dough becomes a thick ball. It should be just slightly sticky and hold together really well. * If your dough is at all crumbly add a little bit more water ( 1 tsp at a time) until it starts to hold firmly together.* 
  3. Remove dough from food processor. Place between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out thin. (Note: the crust will get thicker while baking).  Once rolled out, flip the sheet of dough over the pie pan. Optional:  Tuck the edges of the crust under themselves and Crimp or Flute (Use whatever technique suites your fancy.).
  4. If baking the shell empty: then bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes. (Note the crust is not going to get much color as it bakes- you will know its done when the outside is firm.  If you wait until it browns then it will  end up hard as a rock.
Recipe Yields One Large Crust with a little extra dough to spare. If making a pie with a double crust- double this recipe. I have not tried it out yet- but I suspect this crust will freeze well once in the pie plate as well if you want to make it ahead of time.
If making a filled pie, put ingredients in before baking and follow the appropriate baking time for the recipe you select.Unless its over 20-25 minutes.  In which case you might consider pre-cooking the filling. For example if you are making an apple pie saute the apples in a skillet for a bit before placing them into the crust. This will allow for a shorter baking time in the oven, and therefore a perfectly baked crust. If the crust is in the oven too long it will start to get hard, almost like a cracker. You may not realize its getting hard as it does not gain much color as it bakes. IF you need to keep your pie in the oven for an extra bit of time past the 25 minute mark I recommend brushing it with milk (dairy or nondairy) to help prevent it from drying out.

For those you that can eat grains and eggs I HIGHLY recommend my Pate Brisee Recipe. Its quite special and taste’s just like Marie Callender Crust.

 Now, go make some pie!
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{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

MomLadyOR November 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’m off to the kitchen to give this a try!!


Kitt November 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

You are fantastic. I just baked a perfect banana bread thanks to you (and I am really not great in the kitchen) and I can’t wait to try more from you, including this one. Please keep up the great work!


Erica November 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm

What a fabulous crust for us egg-intolerant folks, thank you! Question: is there an alternative to the gums? They cause me major digestive distress.


Brittany November 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm

So – I just tried making it without the gum and it still worked pretty good. It became a tiny bit brittle but still held together reasonable well ( enough to still bend into the pie plate). So, I say don’t use the xanthan/guar if you need to avoid it. All should be fine :)


Erica November 20, 2012 at 12:50 am

Thank you!!


Linda Phillips November 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hi Brittany,

Question. In listing of ingredients you’ve stated baking soda, but in instructions you say baking powder – which one should it be? Thanks. Love all you recipes.


Brittany November 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Baking Soda! Thanks for catching that! I’ll go fix it :)


Gaby @A Crafty Gourmet November 20, 2012 at 12:51 am

INCREDIBLE! Do you think another nut/seed flour might work too? Like sunflower seed flower?


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 12:58 am

Yes! I think that might work if its finely ground! :)


Gaby @A Crafty Gourmet November 20, 2012 at 8:35 am



Zara November 20, 2012 at 12:58 am

Hooray! I am so sick of making chicken pot. LOL. I can’t wait to try this :) .


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 12:59 am

HA! :) I was feeling the same.. hence my baking marathon this morning.


Adeena November 20, 2012 at 1:16 am

This looks amazing!! Definitely going to try it! :D

One question – I can’t eat psyllium – intolerant. :/ But I *can* have eggs! Can I sub an egg for the psyllium mix? Just thinking that it’s function was to replace the egg. Thanks so much! :D


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:18 am

I’m not sure.. more than replacing the eggs its really holding the dough together and making it flexible. I think you are better off experimenting with a “chia egg”. But I can’t tell you exactly how much to use.. the amount may differ.


Deanna November 20, 2012 at 1:19 am

I do believe this is going to nestle some delicious apples. I’ve missed 2 crust pies. Don’t suppose you know the weights of your flours, do you? I always do better when I know the grams/ounces. Barring that, what’s your measuring technique for your flours? Dip and sweep? Spoon and sweep? Pack?


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:26 am

Oh Yes! I meant to mention that.. thank you for bringing it up. I scoop into the bag and pack my cups heavy. An old habit :) Next time I make this I will measure the gram amounts. Though I have to say I think this recipe is pretty flexible and forgiving as I made it many times in a row today without using the exact gram amounts (since I was scooping) and it turned out the same each time. (Quite different than when using the grain based flours for sure).


TressaR November 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

Oh man! We just made this with baking soda instead of baking powder and it definitely is not flaky. It’s pretty crunchy in fact. :(


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:29 am

Baking Soda is the correct ingredient. Perhaps you cooked it too long?


TressaR November 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

In your reply to the comment above you said it should be baking powder. That is why I was confused.


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 2:49 am

Apparently I’m losing my mind!! Ah. Too much baking :) Baking Soda is the correct ingredient.


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:37 am

I just updated the recipe info a bit to better describe what it looks like when its done. Hopefully this helps next time. I found that when its baked with something inside it also tends to be much better than when baked dry.


TressaR November 20, 2012 at 2:30 am

We did a pecan pie. The edge was pretty hard, but the rest was okay. Not flaky, but kind of biscuit-like. I did love the fact that it was very easy to roll out and it didn’t fall apart!


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

Hmm! Maybe it would be better if the edges are covered. It’s deceiving as it really doesn’t get brown so it’s hard to know when it’s done. I found when it’s cooked the perfect amount it’s biscuity and ever so slightly flaky ( but not super flaky).


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 2:36 am

I just had another thought- if the crust ( or just the edges) are brushed with a little milk ( dairy or nondairy) that would help keep it soft!


Melanie L November 21, 2012 at 1:45 am

SO GOOD! Pot pies will be added to our menu planning once again! YAY!


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 1:52 am

So glad to hear it!!! :)

Debbie November 20, 2012 at 3:07 am

I’ll be making pie THIS weekend…if not sooner. :)
Thanks Brittany. Your recipes are ALWAYS so amazing. xo


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 3:08 am

Thank you Debbie!!


gypsy November 20, 2012 at 6:57 am

I would love to make a pumpkin but the baking time is 45 min. or so. could you cook the pumpkin mix on top of the stove for a while? Thanks.


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Hmm.. That world probably work!
Also- follow my tip for brushing the crust with milk ( dairy or nondairy).


Kara November 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Can I use Almond Meal instead of Almond Flour? Are the measurements the same??


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

In most cases I would say no- as it doesn’t work the same. BUT I had a reader inform me last night that she used almond meal and made a really great chicken pot pie! So, sure. Give it a try :) let us know if it works for you as well.


Mari Ann Lisenbe November 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

By “almond meal”, do you mean made with whole almonds instead of blanched almonds?


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

That’s usually what almond meal is- its also ground much less than blanched almond flour. Since it is a course grind
it absorbs less liquid and therefore doesn’t work as well in recipes.


Sharon D. November 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

New to your site and so excited to try this crust! I follow a primarily Paleo diet and wondered of the 3 starches you list – what would be your first choice and is one more Paleo than another!? THANKS!!!


Brittany November 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Umm.. hmm. I think I would say either the Tapioca or Arrowroot would be the most paleo as I believe they are lower in carbs than the potato. (though don’t quote me on that :) I need to look it up.) I do know though that I have seen tapioca used in small amounts in other paleo recipes.


Melanie L November 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

We made mini apple tarts and chicken apple tarts. They are in the oven. SOO Excited


Melanie L November 21, 2012 at 1:40 am

Hmm.. a little dry and crumbly but very tasty! Im going to add another tbsp of water next time


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 1:49 am

Oh yes! The dough should feel almost a bit wet. That’s what holds it together. Don’t be afraid to add a little water as it will make all the difference . Ill add this to the directions above!


Amy November 21, 2012 at 3:50 am

If you have a chance to answer, I’d love to know what you think about using Konjac flour in place of one of the starches like you mentioned in the crispy fried onion strings post. Is it a good substitute in most recipes calling for the addition of a starch? I’m not able to eat any starches and was really hoping to make this pie crust for Thanksgiving. Thanks a million for all your hard work! We *really* appreciate it!


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 4:06 am

I honestly dont know. I just got the konjac and haven’t done much experimenting. I also cant really indulge in starch- it makes my candida flare up. SO- I’ll be working on a 100% starch free pie crust recipe to post before christmas! The one thing I can tell you is that Ive noticed in the few things I have tried that I need far less Konjac flour than I did starch.


Amy November 21, 2012 at 4:17 am

I’m thrilled about the starch-free crust! In the meantime, I might give it a go and see what happens. :)


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 4:23 am

Please let me know what happens! (and take pictures if you can). I’m dying to know what happens! I’ll be beyond thrilled if it works for you. Good Luck!


Amy November 21, 2012 at 4:47 am

I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again!

Jackie November 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

This may be a silly question, but when putting the ingredients into the food processor do you use the normal blade or the one for dough?


Brittany November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

That’s a great question! I just use the normal blade :)


Jackie November 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Thank you!! :) Off to make my apple pie now…..


Jen November 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

So excited! I’m pumpkin-intolerant, but making my “fake” Libby’s pie with butternut squash puree. I’ll cook the mix on the stove a bit before adding to the crust to try to reduce the overall time. I’ll let you know how this turns out!


Tabitha November 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Great crust! My husband saw me roll it out like a normal crust and didn’t weird out on trying the pecan bars I made. I caught him snitching pieces a couple of times and just smiled. Had to come back and THANK YOU BIG TIME!

I subbed 1 tsp psyllium husk powder for the 2 tsp whole psyllium. (It was Thanksgiving morning and I was determined not to go to a store bc I remembered having the wrong ingredient.)

Thanks again. I’ll be back to try your pizza crust.


Debbie November 27, 2012 at 2:14 am

I really want to make this pie crust but almonds are on my “no fly” list. Do you think I can ground up walnuts instead? Or ground pecans? How fine do they need to be? And should I add more starch to keep them from lumping in the food processor?
Thank you! I have 6 GF guests coming for Christmas dinner and I plan on WOWing them with this pie crust!


Brittany November 27, 2012 at 2:37 am

Either option should work I would think! The idea of adding a little starch is a good idea. Just get them as fine as you possibly can! you might consider using a coffee grinder for the best results.
I would put the recipe through a trial run before serving to guests! Just incase there are any issues. Better safe than sorry. :)
Please come back and let me know how it turns out. Xx


Laurie November 27, 2012 at 4:13 am

I would love more information on your starch-free pie crust. Or if anyone tried the Konjac flour in this recipe instead of the listed starches. Thanks!


Erica November 27, 2012 at 5:50 am

Brittany. Thanks for the recipes. I have hashimotos, candida and recently discovered adrenal fatigue. Needless to say, I love your story and your recipes. Curious how you can tolerate fruits? Was there a time when you couldn’t? I miss them but still trying toget candida back under control.


Jenni November 28, 2012 at 7:19 am

Looks fabulous! Just wondering if I can use psyllium husk powder instead of the whole husks? I only have the powder at the moment…
Im also wondering what your opinion is on the grain free approach, are you grain free? A lot of your other recipes incorporate grains… is the grain free diet something that you are trying out?


Brittany November 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hi Jenni- not sure on the psyllium powder. You will probably need a little less but I can’t tell you exactly how much.

I am and have been 100% grain free for a year now. I however was not during my first year of blogging/recipe development. Hence a year supply of recipes that are just gluten free. My health improved quite drastically when I gave up all grain- ill probably continue on this diet for a long time to come!


Jenni December 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

Interesting! I have been grain free for about 2 years now, but am just starting to add grains back into my diet to add more variety and flixibility… I feel good! Do you still eat some starches like sweet potatoes and squash etc? if so how much? How do you do with fruit?
Im a curious foodie who likes to hear about what is working for other people!
Thanks for all the marvelous recipes!


Brittany December 1, 2012 at 2:17 am

Well.. I still have to be extremely careful about starch. BUT only because of my candida issues. If it weren’t for that Im pretty sure I could tolerate medium levels of starch in my diet. Little by little I’m able to add foods back as you are and feel great. Dairy is my latest ok food.


Terri December 1, 2012 at 7:02 am

Brittany, I am so excited to find your website! Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in May and have been struggling. I started by cutting out gluten and just last month went grain free. I feel so much better.Your site is a Godsend. Thank you.
I really missed a real crust for pie during Thanksgiving. That won’t be a problem ever again!! I will be making pie this weekend. Can’t wait!
I have been looking for a cracker recipe, do you have one?
Thanks bunches!!


Brittany December 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I do have some cracker recipes! None that I have yet posted on here- but I’ll get them up soon:)


Terri December 5, 2012 at 5:42 am

I made your Cherry hand pies over the weekend and they were wonderful!! I couldn’t find the right almond flour so I substituted almond meal from Trader Joes. It worked just fine. I placed an order tonight with for the blanched almond flour. Can’t wait to try the pastry again! Thank you for the link.
I’m looking forward to the cracker recipes!!!
Just wondering, I also have Hashimoto’s, and it has been like pulling teeth to get help from traditional medicine. How has eating grain free helped you on this bazaar journey?
Thank you,


Jenni December 1, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thats great news! Yeah I found it was great for my body to go off grains and all sugar/starch, even limiting fruit for a time… It seemed to reset my metabolism so I could recover from years of being a regular sugar/carb abuser :S. However now I am finding that I am able to add back in healthy starches (squash, sweet potatoes, quino, wild rice etc.) and some fruits and sweeteners into my diet and I am feeling great! I still think my body needed that time to heal… Do you anticipate adding back grains and starches at some point?
Good luck on the dairy.


Brittany December 1, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Since going grain free my weight and health have been so easy to manage. It seems like sticking to this lifestyle longterm would only be beneficial. It would be nice to be able to “cheat” once in awhile when with family etc.. but I think overall I’ll stick to this simple grain free diet long term. Of course I could change my mind as time passes..but I’m pretty happy with the benefits of eating this way.


Andrea December 20, 2012 at 4:05 am

I am new at baking and cooking free of junk :) Can anyone help me with what is the best almond flour, I have been using Bob’s and it is very course, I would like to try a almond flour that is finer?


Brittany December 20, 2012 at 4:15 am

I love the blanched almond flour from and honeyville! ;)


Amanda McCullough December 28, 2012 at 4:12 am

Unfortunately I made this crust for my apple pie for Christmas….and I was not happy with it. It had a salty taste and was just kind of blah. However the dough was a perfect consistency for rolling out and held up well, just didn’t have a good flavor to me and my family.


Brittany December 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

A few questions:
-Did you make any alterations to the recipe?
- how long did you cook it?

It does have a biscuit flavor to it- but it usually gets rave reviews so I would like to figure out what went wrong! ( it’s important to me that all of my recipes work and are flawless :)


Amanda McCullough March 27, 2013 at 6:09 am

Ha! I just saw that you replied to this post :-)
I did not make any alterations to the recipe. Followed word for word…
I can’t remember exactly how long I cooked it…But I am pretty sure it was 22 minutes and then some. I remember testing the crust at 22 minutes and it was pretty gooey still…It definitely was extremely salty…I don’t know what was wrong. I’ll have to try it again sometime and think about it. It didn’t taste like a biscuit either….I’m bummed. I hope I can figure it out!


[email protected] January 3, 2013 at 11:06 pm

It was a major high to work with a dough that felt like pie crust should without crumbling part on me! I really love the flavor,of this too…I had extra sp baked up a few pieces to taste before my pot pie tonight. I will now include a link to this recipe now that I can’t vouche for it Brittany! Biscuity, but buttery at the same time…thank you! Also, neither of the pâté brisee links worked for me, gave me a 404 message, had to google it access the recipe that way.


Brittany January 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm

So glad you liked it!!!!
And thanks for letting me know on the other recipes. I’ll get those links fixed.


Pam January 5, 2013 at 4:07 am

Made this tonight. Really yummy. A couple minor variations:

I cut down the salt to less than 1 tsp for a double batch.

I did not use xantham and it was perfectly fine.

I used psyllium powder, 4 tsps for the double batch. I tried mixing the water and psyllium and it was so lumpy that I started over. I just mixed the powder in with the dry ingredients then added water. I don’t have a food processor so I mixed it all with a fork. It worked out just fine.

I made a pear pie so I pre-cooked them with coconut sugar and tapioca flour. I used a glass pie pan so baked at 325 for 20 minutes. I did put foil around the edge of the crusts as I always did for flour pies.

The top was wonderful. The bottom crust was a bit gummy. Anyone else have that experience? I’m not sure what I could do differently. I don’t know if pre-baking the bottom would help. Plus then you have to worry about attaching the top crust.

Still, gummy crust and all it was quite popular. The neighbors took a generous portion to eat tomorrow (and they’re not gluten free.) My 7 year old who is not gluten free loved it.

So, if anyone has thoughts on the bottom gummy crust I’d love to hear your suggestions. Otherwise this was perfect.


Brittany January 5, 2013 at 4:55 am

I think it was the psyllium powder. It works a little different than the whole husks believe it or not. Sometimes I find it makes things gummier- so that’s my guess! I’ve made this crust many times now (often for juicy pot pies) without prebaking the crust and never had the issue of gumminess or the crust tasting undercooked. So- yeah. That’s my best guess..


Pam January 6, 2013 at 12:19 am

Interesting. I’ll get some husks and see how it works. Thanks for letting me know.


Pam January 23, 2013 at 4:44 am

So I’ve made this crust several times trying to conquer it. I figured out what I was doing wrong–it was me, not the ingredients.

To start with, I was setting the pie pan on a stainless steel pan to catch any dripping. Because this doesn’t bake as long as a traditional pie, the bottom of the crust wasn’t heating up enough and wasn’t baking through. Also, I was using a glass pie pan so lowered the temperature but didn’t cook it longer. Finally, I was rolling it too thick. Correcting those three things took care of the gumminess.

I did try whole psyllium. I also went back to powder. I prefer the powder. There was no difference in gumminess (once I corrected my mistakes.) However, the whole psyllium gave the crust a grainy texture where the powder didn’t. Then i was going to make crusts for custard pie. I didn’t want the graininess, but I had run out of powder and only had whole psyllium. I live out of town so it’s too long a drive to go buy one item so I put the whole psyllium in the electric coffee/spice grinder and the crust didn’t have the graininess.

I am SOOOO excited to have found this recipe. Thank you so much Brittany for having created it. It is great to be able to make my son a “real” pie–he’s not gluten sensitive but still eats mainly gluten free foods and he was delighted to get a pear pie with crust. I was excited to make a veggie pot pie. Wow it was good. So, thanks again. By the way, we also eat your pizza crusts all the time. I make them thin about 2.5 inches diameter and freeze them. Such a simple lunch that the kids and all their friends love. You have brought great foods into our lives.


Brittany January 23, 2013 at 4:49 am

SO great to hear you solved the mystery!!! Best feeling ever right? :) (and glad you like the pizza too !)

Angela February 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Hello Brittany,

This has got to be the easiest to make and work with pie crust – ever.
It even worked for me!
I have to say that although I had finally succeeded in locating and purchasing the psyllum husks, when it came time to bake they had simply disappeared – as in, well meaning friend or family member “organizing” my pantry such that everything was in neat little beautiful containers, alas, mostly unmarked.
So, in my desperation, I used an egg (measured it even to make sure it was 1/3 cup :) ) and guess what, the crust came out perfect!!!
I will report back what I made with that crust – you will love it! Thanks for your research and constantly making new recipes!


Joyce Hammer August 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I tried this recipe 2 times. It was very good. The second time I added 1 T. maple syrup in place of 1 T. of the water. I liked it a lot better (duh! It is sweeter) and then I didn’t need to add anything to my fresh peach filling. So yummy! Thanks. I had never worked with psyllum husks. Interesting


Julie November 6, 2013 at 12:54 am

Help! I need to find a grain free and NUT free pie crust for a pumpkin pie. Any ideas?


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