Yellow Dock Seed Short Crust Pumpkin Pie

Nov 1 / Alberto Carbo
Summertime brings abundance and variety. As the weather begins to shift, we slowly witness the transition from vibrant life to slowed preservation. The landscape thrives with one last explosion of color, as the leaves begin to whither whilst on their branches, gradually becoming darker, and darker in hue, and inevitably falling to the cold earth below.

Having seen it time and time again, Plants anticipate this moment, and prepare accordingly, in one way or another. Some have already spent their energy on seeds of promise for the future, while others retreat back into themselves to wait out the cold.

Many cultures around the world have historically revered this time. Autumn is a time of harvest, and appreciation for the abundance of the summer months but it is also when the veil between our world and the spirit realm becomes thinner, allowing us to communicate with our ancestors. Different cultures, from different places of the world, seemingly unconnected to each other developed celebrations, rituals, and ceremonies to honor this special time of the year. Although the stories, myths, and specific celebratory rituals may differ, I do believe they stemmed from the inherent understanding that life is a cycle. Perhaps they learned this from the plants themselves?

Yellow Dock, Rumex crispus, has certainly reminded me of this for several years now. Although its flower stem shoots up during the warmer months, they are not easily noticed, however as autumn rolls in and our plant friends begin to decompose back into the earth, Yellow Dock’s long stalks abundant with seeds certainly stand out. As the energy of Rumex dives back into its root for hibernation, its sun-dried seeds stay up high, with a promise for the future. To me, this is a perfect representation of the world we cannot see, where the future and the past meld together, where our place of origin and are destination are one.

These wonderful little seeds are flavorful and versatile. Although they start out green, the sun does a fantastic job of drying them on the stalk, giving them a ‘toasty’ flavor and mouthfeel. Although medicinally you would use the root, today I am encouraging you to seek out this wonderful plant, and connect with its seeds.

In the spirit of the coming holidays for many of us and pumpkins, let's use our Yellow Dock seeds to make some pie crust!

Yellow Dock Seed Crust Pumpkin Pie


Pie Crust:
  • 1 cup ground Yellow Dock seeds
  • 1/2 cup flour of choice (recipe works with regular flour as well as a gluten-free flour blend)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/3 cup cold butter – cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Pumpkin Filling:

  • Pumpkin – the size will determine how many spices you use. I usually make my spice blend and keep it in a mason jar, ready to go!
  • 2 parts Cinnamon
  • 1/4-part Cloves
  • 1/4-part Cardamom
  • 1/4-part All Spice
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar (absolutely optional. I like to keep my pie neutral…. You never know if you’ll want to have it as dessert, or if you’ll want to have it with your main course, so I leave the sugar out of the mix, and if I really need it, I drizzle some maple syrup over it when I am craving sweets)
  • Handful of raw pecans


Pie Crust:
  1. You will first want to grind up your Yellow Dock seeds. Simply take them off the stem over a large bowl. It works best if you separate the smaller stems adjacent to the main stem, and then pinch your index finger and thumb over the stalk (at the base) and use your other hand to pull the stalk through your fingers (pull from the base of the stem). Grind your seeds to a fine dust using a coffee grinder.
  2. Combine your Rumex seed flour, regular flour, & salt together.
  3. Add the cold butter cubes to the mix.
  4. Using your hands, combine the flour and butter until it resembles cornmeal.
  5. Add the water.
  6. Combine until it all comes together (it usually does in under a minute).
  7. Roll out the dough. Although the texture of this crust is similar to regular pie crust once it is baked, it is a little more difficult to work with when raw. To get around this, I roll out my dough (with a little flour sprinkled on table and rolling pin) on a piece of parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper is bigger than your pie dish.
  8. Take the parchment paper and gently flip it onto the pie dish that you will be baking in. Gently peel the dough off the parchment paper, and into the pie dish.


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Using a sharp knife, remove the flesh of the pumpkin from the outer shell and place in an oven-roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle with an oil of your choice. Sprinkle the pumpkin spice blend over the pumpkin and mix in with a wooden spoon.
  4. All of the pumpkin should be coated with spices evenly.
  5. Roast until tender.
  6. If you’d like to add sugar, do it now.
  7. Mash into a puree.


  1. Fill your pie crust with spiced pumpkin puree and smooth out the surface. Make sure to leave a nice ‘rim’ of pie crust at the top.
  2. Top off your pie with raw pecans. These will toast slightly as you bake the pie.
  3. Bake at 375F° for 15 minutes.
  4. As always, I would love to encourage you to experiment! Try making the pie crust on its own, and simply have it as ‘crackers’. Or try experimenting with different flours, spices, herbs. The possibilities are endless!

As always make sure to forage for plants away from roads and pollution as much as possible. Never overharvest any plant, as they are of course not only here for our enjoyment, but also here for the insects, bees, and birds. Have fun out there!
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.