Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No-Sugar Apple Pie

In our family's attempt to eat healthier, one of the things that has been the hardest to cut back on is SUGAR.

I rarely crave a bag of salty chips...but, whisper icy, cold Coke or Dove chocolate or OREOS in my ear and it's all downhill from there!

We're working on it, though!

I made some cookies for a church get-together a few weeks ago, and when I pulled down my white sugar tub from the pantry, I realized it's been several weeks since I've used it!!

Now, lest you think I haven't had sweets:
I *have* been using demerara (unrefined sugar), but have also been able to utilize honey in many of my recipes. Knowing that both honey and demerara are more expensive than refined white sugar, it has made it a bit easier for me to cut back on the amount of sweetener called for in a recipe (oftentimes as much as half)! That's a step in the right direction, too!

My cousin sent me an apple pie recipe that I just had to try! No sugar! No artificial sweeteners, either!

(BEWARE! Usually, anything packaged in the store that is labeled 'no sugar,' just means that it's full of artificial sweeteners... eww).

The pie takes a bit more time (especially if you've gotten into the bad habit of using storebought crusts, which I had...), but it is delicious and well worth the extra effort!

I would also recommend using a sweeter apple; avoid Granny Smiths, which will make the pie too tart.

NO SUGAR APPLE PIE

Crust:
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use WW pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
1/4 cup palm shortening
1/3 cup ice cold water (may need more or less for dough to come together)

Filling:

6 oz. frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate
2-1/2 tablespoons flour (I use WW pastry)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 medium apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
1/2-3/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

For crust, combine flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix together. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in water. Using fork or fingers, form dough into a ball. Don't overwork. Divide dough in half. Roll out one portion on a well-floured surface until it is large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Place bottom crust in pan. Roll out second portion for top crust.


For filling: In a small saucepan, combine the frozen juice concentrate, flour, and cinnamon. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly, 3-5 minutes (will look like thick caramel). Peel and slice the apples and stir them into the juice mixture. Pour the ingredients into the unbaked pie shell, sprinkle with nutmeg, and dot with butter, if desired. Position the top crust over the filling, cutting slits for steam to escape. Trim and seal edges.

Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes more.

After cutting, the pie certainly gave off more juice than my sugar pies, but the crust was not soggy. Overall, I was very pleased with using juice concentrate for the sweetener! It worked very, very well. I've bought grape juice concentrate to try a blueberry pie next!!

I would love to know if you try this recipe!! 

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**Disclaimer: I was given a free product for review purposes only. My reviews are not monetarily compensated and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way, unless otherwise disclosed. Each review is based on the reactions and opinions of myself and/or family. Post *may* contain affiliate links.**
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